WINDHOEK - The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) CEO Charity Mwiya has threatened to name and shame businesspeople who allegedly colluding with politicians to win public tenders.
Mwiya told New Era yesterday that some businesspeople were “using political names to advance selfish interests in the procurement process”. She warned: “stop manipulating public officials or decision-makers with your apparent political connections to win or manipulate tender bids to your favour. We condemn such acts and any incidences that become known shall be exposed and shamed.”
She said the chamber, which represents the business community expects its members to operate with integrity and allow for transparent procecess when it comes to tender allocation.
She also announced that the chamber will soon host a number of workshops aimed to looking at the challenges facing small and medium enterprises (SMEs), especially in areas of procurement.
According to her, the SME sector has the greatest proportion of jobs, but noted that it was under-represented in the delivery of public procurement contracts.
“Recognising the important role that the public sector plays as a purchaser of goods and services, as well as the critical role SMEs have for the economy, it is critical that local authorities use public procurement to incentivise, support and otherwise sustain local SMEs,” she stated.
Mwiya added that since the vast majority of SMEs at local authority levels are informal, the lure of significant local contracts can serve as a strong motivation to register and formalise their business.
However, she said there is also a significant downside in many public entities that frequently don’t pay their bills on time and, in some countries, payment delays of 12 months or even two years are not uncommon. Such delays, she says, can seriously compromise the position of a small-scale enterprise which – with limited access to formal bank financing – relies critically on cash flow from its clients to sustain its business. Equally, she noted, a six-month delay in receiving payment on a contract can easily put a small firm out of business.
“Open and transparent public procurement should be our common objective, as only then can we talk about real market access for companies.
Local government procurement is becoming increasingly important. Clearly, the way in which their procurement budgets are spent can have a huge impact on the local economy, jobs, and training, so we must ensure that we get it right,” she encouraged.
2019-10-24 07:13:30 | 10 months ago