SWAKOPMUND - The Namibian Institute of Mining and Technology (NIMT) faces yet another financial crisis. NIMT cannot pay its more than 60-strong workforce their January salaries that were already due on January 25.
The institution is said to be struggling to scrape money together for the past five months to pay the salaries of its employees and has resorted to overdrafts and government bailouts to operate since September, according to employees. Employees were stunned last week Friday morning when their received internal notices instead of receiving their January salaries, fearing the worst for the institution. The notice was issued by the executive director of NIMT, Eckhart Mueller.
In the notice he stated that the salaries have been delayed by external factors beyond the institution’s control.
“Kindly be assured that we are doing everything in our power to ensure that the January salaries will be paid as soon as practically possible. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience caused and hope that you will be making alternative arrangements with your respective banks,” Mueller’s memo said.
Contacted for comment, Mueller said that the institution is low on funds due to the fact that they have yet to receive their subsidy. Mueller declined to elaborate or answer further questions on the matter and whether he sought assistance from the Namibian Training Authority and the Namibia Students Assistance Fund in order to pay the outstanding salaries.
“All I can say is that the government does not have money and my staff have not been paid for this month and I will not discuss the matter with you as I don’t know you,” he said
Worried employees who contacted New Era yesterday said they that it is highly unlikely that they would be paid today.
A source close to management said they had managed to get an overdraft each time from a local financial provider to pay salaries. NIMT staff blame its top management for the financial woes at NIMT as there are too many people in ‘unnecessary management positions’. “To make matters worse over a million dollars is needed just to pay the staff at the main campus in Arandis. Apart from workers’ salaries it is also said that at least 20 employees at NIMT are 60 years and older and are consuming the biggest chunk of the institution’s money instead of going on retirement,” said a staff member who requested anonymity lest there are reprisals.