The trade union representing workers in the financial sector has called for the head of the top executive at the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF).
Namibia Financial Institutions Union (Nafinu) general secretary Asnath Zamuee says bad management has been the order of the day at the institution under the watch of NSFAF chief executive officer Hilya Nghiwete. She called on Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste to sack the CEO and dismantle the entire board of directors.
“We demand that serious action be taken against the management and the board at NSFAF, including the repayment of the missing millions,” she said, adding that the mismanagement of public funds should be made a criminal office.
“The poverty level in the country calls for prudent management of our resources,” she added while addressing the media in Windhoek yesterday. Zamuee said it is utterly unacceptable for the board of directors to pocket sitting fees in excess of N$2 million in one financial year.
She said such spending is unacceptable while many children are unable to access tertiary education due to the lack of funds, yet money intended to assist students in attaining their goals goes to the pockets of the board of directors.
“We were totally astounded when we learned that the board chairperson received an allowance of N$120 000 for an eight-day visit to Cuba,” she said. “This money should be paid back. Such wastage of public resources should not be tolerated,” she stressed. Zamuee asked how the chairperson of the board of directors could travel to Cuba just to hear students’ concerns. “Are there no structures in place for students to channel their problems through to the NSFAF? Does she also meet students locally to hear their problems?” she further asked.
She said the trip was not financially justifiable. “Without shame, the board chairperson informed the nation that a follow-up trip was also undertaken by the NSFAF secretariat for the same purpose,” Zamuee said. “This is a totally unacceptable and a wastage of public resources,” she said.
Zamuee’s statement comes shortly after the financial report of the Auditor-General made shocking revelations, indicating that about N$342 million at the NSFAF was unaccounted for at the end of 2009, while N$373 million was unaccounted for at the end of 2010.
Also, other irregularities detected include the non-submission of expenditure vouchers and supporting revenue documents.
Expenditure vouchers, revenue supporting documents and bank statements of about N$587 million for 2009 and N$788 million for 2010 were not submitted for audit purposes, while no cash flow statements were provided.