WALVIS BAY – Government, through the finance ministry, is once again auctioning off 87 500 metric tons of horse mackerel from its governmental objective quota, to the highest bidder.
The finance ministry announced in a circular last Thursday, saying the auction will be open to both national and international bidders.
Spokesperson for the ministry, Tonateni Shidhudhu on Monday said the auction is held to generate revenue for government. He, however, did not say how much government plans to generate from the latest auction.
“The auction is to generate funds for general government expenditure. I can’t really break it down into specifics,” Shidhudhu said, when asked why the auction is taking place.
The government’s last auction of over 83 000 metric tons drew both criticism and ridicule when it was announced in August 2020 and eventually ended as a damp squib.
Finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi back then announced that government would generate over N$627 million from the fish that was sold to the highest bidder. This included the application fees that were processed during the bidding process.
However, in October, Shiimi conceded that the authorities were not fully prepared when a decision was made to auction. Treasury raked in a mere N$8.4 million from successful bids and N$76 000 in quota application fees.
According to Shidhudhu, 52 500mt will be sold as freezer while 35 000mt will be sold as wet in this year’s auction.
The reserved price for freezer is set at N$3 000 per metric ton and N$750 for wet, Shidhudhu explained on Monday.
The ministry also states that bids will have to reach them before 18 June this year, and no bids submitted after the deadline will be accepted.
The full auction results will be announced by the middle of July.
“Each bidder must furnish their bids with a security deposit equal to the reserve price multiplied by the volume of the metric tons applied for,” the document released by the ministry states.
The security deposits will not be refundable to successful bidders and will be netted against the total amount payable for the quota that was awarded.
Unsuccessful bidders will be refunded within seven days after the auction results are announced.
Each bid must be furnished with a guarantee from a bank, equal to the bid price. The bank guarantee must be issued by a local banking institution licensed by the Bank of Namibia and will serve as a commitment to settle the amount payable once the bid is successful.
According to the ministry, letters of intent will not be accepted as security guarantees this time around. Fishing quotas awarded under the bid may be tradable in the secondary market.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will ensure that the terms and conditions applicable to the exploitation of marine resources are complied with.
The fishing period will commence at the end of July and will end on 31 December 2021.
Meanwhile, the chairperson of the Wet Landed Horse Mackerel Association, Jason Angala yesterday said that they are happy with the conditions of the auction.
“The price set is what we have been crying for all along, as well as the 60/40 ratio, hence we are happy. Of course, the timing is wrong in terms of the best fishing season. It should have been in January as fish sizes are smaller as the fishing season continues.
However, this can be worked on as it is only the second time that the government auction is taking place,” he said.