Windhoek — The Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) reversed the transactions in which it erroneously paid tens of thousands to about 40 beneficiary students who benefit from its tuition and non-tuition bursaries.
NSFAF wrongly paid N$30,000 instead of N$3,000 for non-tuition fees in 2017.
However, NSFAF senior manager for marketing and communications, Percy Tjahere, said the fund has since reversed the wrongly paid payments.
He said over 95 percent of the final settlement for outstanding 2017 non-tuition fees has been processed and paid to date through a recently signed agreement between the Namibian National Students' Organization (NANSO) and NSFAF.
According to him, the payment of the final settlement for outstanding non-tuition fees was completed by Friday (6 July).
Tjahere said it was during the processing of such payments that a technical error was detected of which some students were paid a higher amount than expected.
He revealed this has affected 40 out of 14,000 student accounts.
The error occurred during the course of last week as payment was being processed.
"The public is informed that these payments were reversed and the error has been rectified," Tjahere said.
NSFAF and Nammic signed a three-year contract for the provision of student payment solution services.
He clarified that no account has been frozen by Nammic as earlier alleged.
Hence, he said, the overpayments were rectified and the overpayment was reversed.
Tjahere maintained it was a technical error and upon verification it was detected that the system generated an additional digit (from N$3,000 to N$30,000).
Equally, he said the affected students have been informed about the error.
He explained this will not have any negative impact on the completion of payment as NSFAF is on course to finalise all payments as agreed with NANSO.
The agreement was signed a week ago by NANSO vice-president Bernhard Kavau and NSFAF acting chief executive officer Kennedy Kadume.
The two parties said due to the economic downturn and competing priorities against limited resources, the higher education funding is equally affected.
For non-tuition fees for the 2018 academic year, the parties agreed NSFAF to pay a flat fee of N$17,000 per student non-tuition fees for both continuing students and new intakes. This is applicable to both boarding and non-boarding students.
Such fees are also payable on or before July 31.
The two parties entered into a payment agreement that all fields of study be paid up to a maximum of N$24,000 per student.
In addition, the agreement states that the number of students qualifying for tertiary education has been increasing on an annual basis.
Currently, the NSFAF student population is about 42,000.