Emergency income trickles in

Less than half of the money government earmarked to help needy Namibians has been paid out so far.

28 April 2020 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – Less than 40% of Namibians who have so far applied for the emergency income grant (EIG) has received their once-off N$750.

In total, government has paid out about N$259.6 million so far. This is less than half of the money earmarked to help eligible Namibians who have lost income or jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

Those who qualify for the EIG can only apply until this Thursday, 30 April.

According to the chief public relations officer at the ministry of finance, Tonateni Shidhudhu, 890 098 applications have been received since finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi launched the aid package on 9 April.

This is more than the 739 000 beneficiaries the ministry geared itself for.

In total, N$562 million is available for EIGs. This is part of the N$8.1-billion for the first phase of the economic stimulus and relief package announced by Shiimi on 1 April to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the economy.

Shidhudhu yesterday told Market Watch in total 346 135 applications have been approved and paid already.

Audit

In addition, 40 788 applications are in the process of being audited. If approved, another N$30.59 million will be paid out.

Rejected applications so far total 133 768.

“We are appealing to EIG applicants who are not paid up to now, to give us time until Wednesday this week,” Shidhudhu said.

During the data reconciliation, a lot of applications that were on hold or rejected were cleared, and those payments would have been processed yesterday afternoon, he said.

The ministry also has “some applications that are on hold pending special verification”.

Those who haven’t been paid by tomorrow, “will be notified on the way forward”, Shidhudhu said.

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