Final funding allocation for UNAM only after budget tabling – Shivute
Chairperson of the UNAM Advisory Council, Sam Shivute in a statement this week said, the financial challenges facing the University were duly brought to the attention of the Council last year and necessary engagements took place.
“The Council undertook the necessary actionss with the relevant line Ministries, i.e., Ministry of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Ministry of Finance and the Office of the Prime Minister. In this regard, all the political leaders consulted were very sympathetic to the challenges facing the University and indicated commitment to avail the necessary assistance,” he said
According to him following these fruitful engagements, the Ministry of Finance made the necessary arrangements for UNAM to secure the required funding from financial institutions to the amount of N$391 million to cover for the budget shortfall of the financial year 2016/2017. This is in addition to the direct budgetary allocation of more than N$900 million for the 2016/17 financial year.
Further he noted that, at this point, the Minister of Finance has not yet tabled the National Budget containing the final budget ceilings for the next MTEF period 2017/18 to 2019/20.
“As such, it is therefore not factual to conclude that UNAM has been allocated N$600 million for the upcoming financial year 2017/18. The budget preparation process and engagements are still ongoing and the final funding allocation to UNAM will only be confirmed once the national budget is tabled in Parliament during March 2017,” he said.
Shivute explained that with regard to the national budget cuts and continued calls to cut expenditures within the institution, he highlighted that the downturn in the economy has not only affected UNAM, but other institutions and branches of Government as well.
“The fiscal consolidation exercise, will at a minimum, cause some pain to various sectors of the economy and the higher education sector is not an exception. The University, and indeed as a banker myself, fully understands the need for fiscal rebalancing in order to place the economy on a more sustainable path, going forward,” he said.
In the meantime, Shivute said the Council of UNAM has resolved that the institution must develop measures and strategies to generate additional income to alleviate the burden and dependency on the national budget.