IN THE RED: Nida CEO, Mihe Gaomab II.
PHOTO: NAMPA
IN THE RED: Nida CEO, Mihe Gaomab II. PHOTO: NAMPA

Nida owes medical aid N$700k

Jo-Maré Duddy
Members of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency's (Nida) medical aid fund at Namibia Health Plan (NHP) have been left stranded without benefits for the third time in a year. This after the state-owned enterprise found itself unable to pay its contributions once again.

Nida owes NHP a month's contributions – to the tune of about N$700 000 - which were meant to be settled before 7 September, Wessel !Nanuseb, the agency’s senior manager of corporate services and human resources, confirmed to Namibia Media Holdings (NMH).

According to him, the NHP benefits of 65 active members and 63 pensioners have been suspended. Nida also has 128 members who belong to the Namibia Medical Care (NMC) medical fund. These members are still covered by NMC, despite Nida also being in the red with that fund, he explained.

Nida is currently trying to rectify the situation at NHP, !Nanuseb said.

"Nida is not proud of not fulfilling its obligations," he said, adding that the agency “cares for its employees and is a responsible corporate citizen”.

"Employee benefits are considered a priority obligation and will be fulfilled as such," he said.

Tough transition

Nida is currently faced with transitional challenges compounded by recurring cash challenges, !Nanuseb said.

While the agency budgets for its expenses annually, it has been faced with cash-flow challenges that left it unable to meet all its obligations on time, he added.

Meanwhile, Nida CEO Mihe Gaomab II told NMH the agency’s chief financial officer, Jeremiah Ntinda, was hard at work to fix the “distressing cash-flow situation”.

Nida was established in 2018 and absorbed the former Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and Offshore Development Corporation (ODC). It falls under the ministry of industry and trade.

Bad inheritance

!Nanuseb said Nida inherited a "large financial burden", as the agency is also responsible for the medical aid benefits of retired NDC and ODC employees.

Gaomab told New Era in February that the agency inherited an asset base worth more than N$1 billion, but had outstanding financial and statutory obligations. According to him, Nida intends to use these assets to obtain financing to carry out its mandate.

Nida employees and pensioners' medical aid benefits were also suspended last September and again in July due to non-payment.

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Namibian Sun 2022-12-04

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