Education minister Anna Nghipondoka has expressed her disappointment over the amounts of money charged by privately owned companies on government projects.
Nghipondoka uttered her discontent upon discovering a huge difference in the prices charged by privately owned companies and state-owned companies that are constructing toilets at various government schools in Oshana region.
She pointed out that August 26 and Namibia Training Authority (NTA) were the SOEs appointed together with various privately owned companies to construct a number of pit latrines and other ablution facilities at schools.
The projects are aimed at mitigating the impact of Covid-19.
While visiting Iihenda Combined School, Ngipondoka discovered that a privately owned company charged over N$400 000 for the construction of a block of pit toilets while the NTA charged N$200 000 for a block of five.
“It is very disappointing to see that our private contractors are ripping off government, I’m really disappointed,” expressed Nghipondoka.
Nghipondoka and her delegation visited Negonga Primary School, Shinime Shimvula Primary School, Iihenda Combined School, Kandjengedi Primary School and Eluwa Special School to assess the progress of the toilets’ construction.
“We want all the projects to be finalised by January 2021 for the learners to have a conducive learning environment right from the beginning of the next school calendar,” she said.
The government targets to construct additional toilets and classrooms at various schools countrywide by October 2020 to enhance a conducive learning environment and to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 at schools.
The unavailability of building material due to closed borders and in some cases late release of funds have however delayed the timely completion of the projects.
* Aina Simon is an information officer in the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology based in Oshakati.