WINDHOEK – Namibia’s state-owned enterprises (SOEs) currently have assets of more than N$62 billion and generate an annual income of more than N$23 billion. Given these substantial figures and the significant roles played by the various SOEs in the economy, it is therefore not an exaggeration that good corporate governance at these entities is a critical factor in the country’s socio-economic development.
This existing sentiment was reiterated last week by Minister of Mines and Energy Tom Alweendo at the inauguration of the Namcor service station at Hosea Kutako International Airport. “There is no doubt that the board of directors is fully responsible for the oversight role of the company. In other words, it is the board that is responsible for the performance of any company. In fulfilling its responsibility, the board needs to put in place measures to monitor and control management in order to strengthen the governance in the company,” said Alweendo, noting that one of the major challenges facing a number of SOEs is poor governance.
Alweendo emphasised that there appears to be a crisis of confidence regarding governance in some SOEs.
“More often than not one reads about some malfeasance in some of our SOEs. The more this happens the more we run the risk of the public losing confidence in the integrity of our SOEs. It is therefore incumbent upon the boards and management of SOEs to do everything in their power to demonstrate a strong commitment to the enforcement of clear and firm standards of corporate governance,” Alweendo said. He added that at the very minimum, such standard of corporate governance must require the board of directors and management to execute their responsibilities in the best interest of the shareholder and to act with both competence and integrity. Said Alweendo: “It is therefore important that, going forward, the shareholder ensures that only people who are knowledgeable about the nature of the business of a particular company and those with integrity are considered for appointment as directors on the boards of SOEs.”
“It is also therefore incumbent on all of us to ensure that we continue to improve the effectiveness with which we manage state companies. In the end it is the ethical behaviour and sound business practices that will matter most in the promotion of good corporate governance. If we do that, we would have heeded the call of our president, Dr Hage G Geingob, who on numerous occasions has called upon all those in leadership positions to demonstrate transparency and accountability in all we do in order to create trust with the public.”
At the same occasion the mines and energy minister urged the Namcor board and management to leave no stone unturned in promoting good governance at all levels in the company, saying that if this is done successfully he has no doubt that Namcor will be on its way to become the state company that all Namibians can be proud of. Commenting on Namcor’s new fuel retail site, Alweendo said the development not only provides Namibian motorists a wider choice of fuel outlets to purchase from, but also provides business opportunities.
“This is so because I understand that although Namcor invested in the construction of the site, the site will be operated by Namibian entrepreneurs. I wish to congratulate Namcor on this achievement,” said Alweendo.
Namcor’s retail agenda looks at establishing a sufficient network of profitable sites that will enable it to later serve remote areas such as regional capitals and rural areas that do not have access to fuel retail services.
2019-11-25 08:14:44 | 12 days ago