Namibia: Salaries Take Bulk of Education Budget

The basic education ministry, which received the largest allocation of N $14.2 billion of the national budget, will spend about N$10.9 billion on personnel expenditure.

The total national budget allocation for 2020/21 amounts to N$72.8 billion and is largely aimed at restarting a Namibian economy that - just as the rest of the world - has been brought to its knees by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministry's allocation is the highest followed by health, which received N$7.95 billion among other key allocations in the 2020/21 budget as presented by finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi on Wednesday in the National Assembly.

The education personnel expenditure is slightly lower than the 2019/20 budget of N$11.6 billion and that of 2018/19, which stood at N$11.2 billion for the same purpose.

Out of the N$14.2 billion overall basic education budget, N$10.9 billion will be used for staff-related expenditures which include salaries amounting to N$9.5 billion, while N$1.1 billion goes to staff contributions to the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

About N$216 million goes to other conditions of service, while N$34 million is earmarked for contributions to the Social Security Commission.

According to estimates of revenue, income, and expenditure for the 2020/21 financial year, the ministry will spend N$343.1 million on goods and other services, which includes travel and subsistence allowance; materials and supplies; transport; utilities; maintenance expenses and property rental and related charges.

Due to Covid-19, Shiimi announced an emergency budget of N$600 million which is availed to the Ministry of Basic Education, Arts and Culture for the provision of water, ablution facilities, and hostels at about 193 schools, countrywide.

"The ministry is finalising an implementation strategy to fast-track the procurement of these goods and services," he noted.

Meanwhile, higher education received N$3.2 billion or 5.1% of the total allocation.

Out of the N$3.2 billion total allocations, N$900.2 million has been allocated towards the University of Namibia, N$503.9 million for the Namibia University of Science and Technology and N$1.5 billion for Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), including a guarantee-backed loan facility of N$238 million.

Shiimi emphasised that such resource outlay reflects the government's commitment to invest in the youth and human capital development as the central driver for sustainable development, employability, and poverty reduction over time.

Out of the total budget allocation, N$50.5 million will be spend on personnel expenditure, of which N$35.3 million goes to salaries, compared to N$37.3 million spent during 2019/20 and N$36.3 million in 2018/19 financial year.

About N$3.3 million goes to staff contributions to GIPF, while N$11.9 million has been earmarked for other conditions of service, and N$105 million goes to employers' contribution to the Social Security Commission.

- anakale@nepc.com.na

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