KATIMA MULILO - Namibia Revenue Agency commissioner Sam Shivute not only hailed the launch of the Katima Mulilo 24-hour border operation which will see more traffic volumes, but is optimistic that it will lead to improved revenue collection.
In an interview with New Era this week, Shivute indicated that NamRA systems are more than ready to serve the nation.
“One of our strategic objectives at NamRA is service delivery. Our systems are ready.
We are working closely with our Zambian revenue collection agency counterparts to make sure improved service delivery is given to our clients. This is good news for Malawi, Tanzania and the DRC,” he remarked.
The State revenue collector was required to collect N$53 billion in what was seen as an ambitious target then. By the end of February 2023, well before the end of the government’s financial year on 31 March, they had collected a record N$55 billion.
The Zambezi region’s two border posts, namely Ngoma and Katima Mulilo, combined with other legal points of entry, recorded a total number of 225 340 entries and 214 892 departures.
Zambezi governor Lawrence Sampofu said during his state of the region address that the highest figure was recorded at the Katima Mulilo border post, and rated among the top revenue-collectors in the country.
Shivute stated that as per the implementation of the trillion-dollar African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement, the launch is one step in achieving this.
The trade agreement requires members to remove tariffs from 90% of goods to allow free access to commodities, goods and services across the continent.
“This would not have been possible without the support of President Hage Geingob. This would not have been possible if border officials were not working together. I must also commend the ministry of home affairs for leading and coordinating,” he said.
Equally, the NamRA commissioner said due to the Walvis Bay corridor expansion, there is an increase of trucks coming from Zambia, and vice versa. In the past, most truck drivers would sleep at the border because it closed at 18h00.
With the launch of the 24-hour border operation, Shivute believes it would mean improved services to traders, and travellers would not need to sleep at the border. “They will be serviced as they come in. The goods in transit will reach the customer in a very short period of time. The Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi route not only serves Zambia, but also Namibia, DRC, Tanzania and Malawi,” he continued.
Sampofu said the Zambezi region is strategically located in the heart of the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA), and can play a major role in the economic advancement of the country.
Situated at the juncture, Sampofu noted that the volume of cargo passing through the Katima Mulilo and Ngoma border posts using the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor has significantly and steadily increased, overpowering the current border infrastructure.
“There was an increase in cargo volumes handled through the Katima Mulilo and Ngoma border posts during the year under review, compared to the 2021/22 financial year. The reopening of borders after Covid-19 resulted in an increase in overall trade imports and exports, as well as the increase in the volume of cargo through the port of Walvis Bay passing along the Walvis Bay-Ndola-Lubumbashi Development Corridor,” he indicated. –firstname.lastname@example.org