WINDHOEK – Despite recent media speculation that the CEO of the Namibia Ports Authority (NamPort), Bisey /Uirab, has been tipped to take over at the helm of the beleaguered Namibia Airports Company (NAC), neither the NAC chairman, Dr Leake Hangala, nor the line minister, Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa, were willing to confirm the appointment.
Upon enquiry, Mutorwa explained that Hangala formally informed him in December last year that accountant Werner Schuckmann, who had been approached by the NAC board to lead the troubled parastatal, actually refused the offer made to him. At the time, The Namibian newspaper reported that Schuckmann demanded a remuneration of N$2.6 million a year to lead the NAC.
“At the same time, the NAC board requested permission to headhunt a suitable candidate for CEO. Then, towards the end of January this year the NAC verbally briefed me on a possible outcome of the head-hunting exercise and said they would submit a report to indicate who they recommend,” Mutorwa explained.
He added that when he receives the report, he will still have to take the recommended name to Cabinet for approval.
“I need to stress that the NAC is in dire need of stable leadership. I hope that the head-hunting process will result in this much-needed stable leadership,” Mutorwa emphasised.
When contacted for confirmation, Hangala merely stated, “I cannot confirm the appointment and I have no comment.” However, Hangala reportedly told The Namibian newspaper that the announcement will be made in the coming weeks.
/Uirab, whose two 5-year terms at NamPort is scheduled to come to an end in April this year, was recently praised by the NamPort board of directors for his exceptional leadership and executive performance at the ports authority.
A statement by NamPort board chairman, Gerson Hinda, read, “It is with great pride that we reflect on a successful 10 years during which Mr /Uirab diligently steered the authority from a fairly medium-sized public enterprise into the regionally acclaimed logistics and maritime industry leader, which it has transformed into.”
/Uirab has been praised by both the public and private sectors, including by former president Hifikepunye Pohamba, for his exemplary leadership. Some of his major milestones while at the helm of NamPort include the development and implementation of a five-year strategic plan focusing on infrastructure development and the logistics sector, increasing the authority’s revenue generation from N$434 million in 2008 to N$1 billion in 2018, and increasing NamPort’s cargo handled ?from 4.6? million tonnes in 2008 to 5.3 million tonnes in 2018. Of course, one of the major developments /Uirab spearheaded was the development of the N$4.3 billion container terminal at Walvis