The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform will secure sufficient budget allocation during the 2021/22 financial year for further construction work on its Ohangwena regional head office at Eenhana.
The ministry’s spokesperson, Chrispin Matongela, in his response to Nampa queries regarding construction stoppage, indicated the building was abandoned in 2017 after the contractor left the construction site.
Matongela said the contractor, Spes Bona Construction and Renovations CC, “absconded because of its inability to continue and financial problems” by then.
“There are no payment disputes, neither outstanding nor unpaid invoices by the ministry,” he said, adding that for the past three consecutive financial years, most ministerial projects were affected by the exorbitant charges and penalties arising from the Neckartal Dam project.
Matongela said the ministry tender to construct its regional head office at Eenhana was awarded to Spes Bona Construction and Renovations at N$34 million in 2014.
Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein during his recent visit to Eenhana expressed disappointment over contractors failing to deliver after being awarded government tenders.
He went on to say the government will no longer tolerate companies abandoning projects, adding that it wastes taxpayers’ money.
Schlettwein told journalists the construction of the office was supposed to be completed long ago, but the building stands incomplete after construction was started some six years ago.
Through the Ministry of Works and Transport, Schlettwein said his ministry has drawn up a list of unfinished capital projects.
“We have now decided to ensure that all projects are completed as we can’t see taxpayers’ money going to waste like this,” cited the minister.
Approached for comment, a senior representative of Spes Bona Construction and Renovations, who preferred to remain unnamed, said the company abandoned the project due to delayed payment for months on the part of the government.
The Spes Bona rep stated although the contract is not yet terminated, “things are tough and the company is thinking of parting ways”.
He concluded by saying the company is proud of the work it did on the building, which is almost complete and “only needs finishing touches”.