Sunday 18 April 2021
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NSFAF board meet 15 times in 2017

The board of Namibia Students Financial Aid Fund has met over 16 times this year, raking in over N$600 000 in the process, The Patriot can reveal.
Internal calculations indicate that board members raked in at least N$600 000 for the board meetings held between 5 April 2017 to 6 December 2017.
The chairperson is entitled to claim N$10 580 for chairing a meeting while other board directors claim N$5 983. Several officials that The Patriot spoke to said board members at bigger public enterprises can earn up to N$20 000 just for attending a board meeting.
NSFAF sources allege the board members also claim full sitting fees for board continuation meetings.
If this is true, then it means as chair, Karuaihe-Martin raked in N$169 280 during 2017. The ordinary board members would then have raked in about N$95 728.
During the said period, only three of the 15 meetings were ordinary board meetings while 8 were special meetings. The remaining 4 were board continuation meetings.
NSFAF’s remuneration policy makes provision for the directors to receive an annual retainer fee of N$76 649 for the chairperson and N$62 613 for the other directors.  The policy makes further provision for the fund to buy iPads for the directors if such undertaking would aid them to execute their mandate.
Patty Karuaihe-Martin, Mbushaandje Ntinda, Frans Gertze, Timoteus Angala, Liezl Van Wyk and Albertina Nanghela currently serve on the NSFAF board. For every meeting attended by a board member that is outside town of his/her ordinary residence, that member is entitled claim an additional sum of N$2450 for travelling time.
Nanghela does not receive board fees as she represents government on the board. She works for the Ministry of Finance.
During the course of 2015, the NSFAF board fees averaged N$189 000 per month last year.
It cost taxpayers N$2.2 million to fund the NSFAF board during its first year(2015) in office.
Serving on boards in Namibia has become a lucrative way of making money, a trend used nowadays to fill the pockets instead of managing institutions.
The highest the board claimed during 2015 was in June when it claimed N$317 769 while the lowest amount claimed was in December of the same year where board fees amounted to N$60 589.
The NSFAF’s board is responsible for the management, administration and control of the fund.
The institution has been marred by a tainted relationship between CEO Hilya Nghiwete and Karuaihe-Martin.  The two do not see eye to eye and Nghiwete even went as far as reporting the matter to the line minister. The bid to control the Namibian Students Financial Aid Fund seem to be the factors behind the board chair and CEO’s fight.
Details have emerged in recent months about the badly-hidden feud between the two, but inside sources allege that plans to oust her are part of a bigger plot, which includes ministerial plans to introduce a quota system when it comes to allocating funds to universities.
It is alleged that those who want Nghiwete out have been harassing and victimising her.
There are also claims that Nghiwete is a law unto herself at NSFAF and repeatedly undermines the authority of the board.
Nghiwete refused to comment when approached and referred all queries to the board chairperson.
Efforts to get Karuaihe-Martin proved futile as her mobile phone went unanswered as well as a message on the popular Whatsapp social media network. Nghiwete is currently booked off sick due to stress and will return in January 2018.

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