Agri ministry appoints PS

07 December 2016 | Agriculture

The newly appointed permanent secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Percy Msika, outlined the challenges that the country is currently faced with in the sector saying that he is ready to assist.

Although he still had more than a four-year term left to serve at the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) where he was employed, he said he regards it as an honour to serve his country.

Msika was appointed as the agricultural permanent secretary on 1 December after the position had been vacant for 18 months.

He was previously employed at the ministry and even served as the undersecretary of the department of agriculture by the time he left the public sector about 13 years ago. He worked at the FAO for more than 11 years serving in countries such as Ghana and China.

“I decided that charity starts at home and if my country needs me I should regard it as an honour to serve,” he said.

Msika said that he is taking over at the ministry at a time when at international level Agenda 2030 has been adopted which focuses on eradicating poverty by that year and globally leaders have signed the Paris Climate Change agreement.

“These protocols focus on inclusive development for all.”

He said on continental levels the declaration to end hunger by 2025 have also been adopted while on a national level there are only 14 years left to achieve those goals. He also made reference to the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the Fourth National Development Plan.

“These are noble frameworks the ministry must contribute to,” said Msika.

He also touched on climate change.

“We have a problem with drought and almost 700 000 people need drought relief. There is also a water scarcity issue which has been the focus for the past six to seven months. I have been away in Ghana and China but I have followed what is happening in Namibia.”

He said to achieve the objectives of these protocols, agriculture, water and forestry have a fundamental role to play and this is critical for the sustainability of Namibia.

“It can be resources of input supplies, employment and income generation.”

The agricultural minister, John Mutorwa, who welcomed Msika to the ministry also said that permanent secretaries are responsible for providing organisation and leadership, maintaining full control of the day-to-day activities of their ministries, outlining clearly the authority and responsibilities of their subordinates and maintaining regular contact with the various heads of departments.

“Permanent secretaries are personally answerable to the public accounts committee of the National Assembly. As accounting officers, they are themselves liable to be surcharged for any unauthorised, irregular or wasteful expenditure by their ministries or for loss of revenue resulting from financial irregularity or serious inefficiency,” he said.

ELLANIE SMIT

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