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Large chunk allocated for commercial SOEs

2022-04-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

Large chunk allocated for commercial SOEs

The overall budget for the now phased-out public enterprise ministry has increased to N$791 million for 2022-23 from N$734 million, representing an increase of N$57 million from the previous financial year.

While motivating the ministry’s budget in parliament last week, acting minister Iipumbu Shiimi said the biggest chunk (N$747 million) of the ministry’s budget will go to the country’s 10 parastatals that fall under the ministry.

He said Namibia Wildlife Resort (NWR) will get N$188 million, the beleaguered state-owned railway company, TransNamib, is allocated N$175 million, whereas N$107 million is billed for the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP).

Shiimi said the Agricultural Business Development Agency (AgriBusDev) will get N$75 million, Agro-Marketing Trade Agency (AMTA) N$72 million, while N$55 million will be allocated to the Road Contractor Company (RCC). 

The Namibian Airport Company (NAC) will get N$47.5 million, Epangelo Minining N$12 million, Lüderitz Waterfront N$9.8 million, and the Zambezi Waterfront N$4.5 million.

 The remainder, N$44 million, will go towards the legal, economic and financial advisory services as well as the policy coordination and support services.

Shiimi, who is also the finance minister, told lawmakers that experience has shown most of the issues encountered at public enterprises that warrant the intervention of the shareholder inevitably have financial implications. 

These matters, he said, require the consistent attention of the minister of finance, and they often end up on the agenda of the Cabinet Committee on Treasury (CCT).

President Hage Geingob recently appointed Shiimi as the acting public enterprise minister to replace Leon Jooste for a period of six months to oversee the incorporation of the ministry into treasury. 

Shiimi said it is, therefore, obvious that it is in the interest of the finance minister to always be acutely aware of the status of the public enterprises. 

He said the public enterprises play a critical role in the economy of any country, especially for countries that are in developmental stage or emerging economies like Namibia.

 For example, he said, without NamPower, NBC, NamWater and the NIP, the Namibian people and industries would not have had access to critical services in the country.

 Thus, he said, the results of poor or non-performance of some public enterprises (PEs) can have a significant negative impact on the millions of poor people in the form of unemployment, poverty and inequality.

 At the onset, Shiimi said the ministry started by first trying to tackle the burning challenges that impede PEs to deliver critical services, such as high levels of non-performance and bailouts. 

“Over the past seven years of the ministry’s existence, the focus was on creating governance model that is suitable for effective governance, development of the legal framework, governance guidelines, directives and policies, and development of compliance and information management system,” he said.

2022-04-26  Kuzeeko Tjitemisa

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