NSFAF budget increment no bailout, /Goagoses says
She tabled the budget in parliament recently, following NSFAF receiving an additional N$376 million during the mid-year budget - on top of the allocated N$1.6 billion granted during the budget review earlier this year.
"During the 2023 application process, NSFAF received 30 124 applications for financial assistance. Out of the total number of applications received, 22 178 applicants - whose income validation was within the threshold of N$500 000 - were eligible for financial assistance. Thus, awarding the said students an allocation of N$730 million,” she said.
“The total budget allocated to NSFAF during the main budget presentation was N$1.6 billion, of which about N$1.3 billion was earmarked for continuing students, unpaid fees for 2022, reduction of loan facility and operational expenses, amongst other things, leaving only N$332 million - which could only cater for 8 932 students.”
Not a bailout
/Goagoses said her ministry then approached the finance ministry on the possible exclusion of 13 246 students, to which the ministry indicated that this could be catered for during the mid-term budget review, hence the additional N$376 million given to the fund.
"The increment should not be termed a bailout, but rather much-needed funding to equip our students," she said.
Additionally, the deputy minister commended the allocation of N$643 million for drought relief provisions under the Office of the Prime Minister, covering both food distribution as well as support for affected farmers.
"With the increase of the threshold for income tax on individuals from the current N$50 000 to N$100 000 to provide relief to low-income individuals, the trade ministry invited entrepreneurs to apply for support through the relaunched equipment aid scheme," she added.