WINDHOEK – The Roads Authority (RA) yesterday said that more than N$250 million owed to Namibia Traffic Information System (NaTIS) does not have a direct impact on its operations but that all the collected outstanding fees will be channelled towards maintaining the country’s road network and the construction of new roads. This funding will be done via the Road Fund Administration, which falls under the Ministry of Finance.
The outstanding N$252 million owed to NaTIS stems from overdue licence fees and penalties. However, the RA’s chief executive officer, Conrad Lutombi, noted that as a business that deals with confidentiality of its clients, it cannot disclose which institutions and entities are the culprits.
“The RA has taken various approaches to remind and compel customers to settle their debts. We have engaged our clients individually and of recent, and we have issued public notices to remind our clients of the impending due date for payments which is the 31st of March 2019. Since the issuance of the call for payments, we can confidently say that we are receiving positive feedback from our clients who are responding and making their payments. For those corporate companies that have not yet responded, the RA is appealing to them to do so while there is still time,” said Lutombi in response to questions by New Era.
Lutombi added that all corporate clients who fail to settle their outstanding fees by the due date will not be allowed to apply for any NaTIS transactions, such as vehicle licence renewals and registration of new vehicles, until all outstanding fees, arrears and penalties are settled in full.
In a separate statement, the RA reacted to the heading of a recent article in the The Namibian newspaper. According to Lutombi the heading of the article gives an impression that government is the only entity with outstanding fees, which he said is false and sensationalised.
“As a matter of fact, the substantial outstanding amount in license fees, arrears and penalties includes all our NaTIS Corporate clients namely Government, State Owned Entities and Private Entities. The RA would like to reiterate that the government’s (inclusive of all ministries) outstanding balance is a mere two percent of the total outstanding amount which is N$252 million. This is a small fraction of the total outstanding amount and there are private entities with a higher outstanding balance. Thus, to single out Government is wrong and unethical,” read Lutombi’s statement.
He continued that currently there are motor vehicles on the RA’s system from the government fleet that have been written or auctioned off, but the de-registration of these vehicles has not been done, hence the accumulation of fees in penalties. The authority therefore appealed to all its corporate clients to contact the nearest NaTIS office and ensure that all vehicles that are no longer in use are de-registered. “We are confident that the outstanding amount will decrease significantly once this process has been done,” Lutombi noted.