Ignore NIPDB recalls, Iipumbu tells commercial counsellors

28 July 2021 | Local News

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK

Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu has told commercial counsellors serving at various Namibian embassies abroad to disregard the decision by the Namibia Investment Promotion Development Board (NIPDB) to recall them.

This comes after the board’s CEO Nangula Uaandja wrote to all 12 commercial counsellors on 1 March informing them about their recall.

“Effective from 1 March, you are recalled and given ample time of six months’ notice … to make all the necessary arrangements to report to your respective department within the ministry 1 September,” the letters read.

Namibian Sun now understands that the counsellors serving in China, France, Angola, Ethiopia, Egypt, Belgium, Brazil, Switzerland and Germany – some who worked for the trade ministry in various capacities before their postings – will not be affected by Uaandja’s recall.

It is understood that those who hailed from the Namibia Investment Centre will be back in the country and resort under the board.

Following the recall letters in March, several counsellors wrote to the trade minister seeking clarity on the way forward.

The concerned counsellors also questioned the legitimacy of the board, saying they only heard about its establishment in the media and are yet to “receive official communication from the trade ministry regarding the board’s creation”.

Stay put

Following the complaints, Iipumbu told them to remain in their host countries.

“The ministry wishes to advise you to disregard the recall letter from your commercial posting duties by the NIPDB until such a time that a pronouncement is made by the ministry in this regard,” she wrote in a letter dated 24 May.

She said her ministry’s consultations on the matter were still ongoing with stakeholders.

“In the meantime, please provide our office with your activities report since assumption of your duty at your current posting. You are also advised to provide your detailed budget estimates for the current financial year and necessary cost-cutting measures in place taking into consideration the budget fiscal consolidations to determine the way forward,” the minister said.

Resistance

Namibian Sun yesterday reported that NIPDB was facing resistance over its plan to recall commercial counsellors. The counsellors had been informed that they would be given six months to prepare for their recall to Namibia, and were further expected to be seconded to the NIPDB, Uaandja said.

“As an employee of the ministry that is currently serving at the board, arrangements will be made with your employer to extend your secondment to the board to the period of 1 April to 31 August,” she said.