Investment board takes issue with NIPA

27 November 2021 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy - The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has registered its concerns with certain provisions of the controversial Namibia Investment Promotion and Facilitation Act (NIPA), tabled by industrialisation and trade minister Lucia Iipumbu in parliament on Thursday.
NIPDB chairperson and CEO Nangula Uaandja has written a letter to Iipumbu, as well as to Christine //Hoebes (minister in presidency), finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi (in his capacity as the chair of the cabinet committee on treasury), Obeth Kandjoze (chair of the cabinet committee on trade and economic development) and attorney general Festus Mbandeka.
Uaandja, the former chief of PwC Namibia, in her letter welcomed NIPA’s tabling as positive news, saying it will provide “much needed certainty to investors while at the same time addressing several gaps in the investment environment of Namibia”.
However, Uaandja said the NIPDB is specifically concerned that its “various inputs” were excluded from NIPA.
These inputs were presented and submitted to the trade ministry and the cabinet committees in April and June this year respectively.
“We equally register our disappointment that some of those recommendations were completely left out without engagement, consultation and explanation as to the rationale of the exclusion,” she wrote.
An independent investment promotion agency (IPA) has been created in the NIPDB, however NIPA provides no independence for the board, Uaandja said.
“This is contrary to the roles and responsibilities attributed to IPAs in benchmark best practice countries. These IPAs are given full independence to act. They are sometimes appended to a ministry, however, this is often the Presidency itself. It is no point having an IPA that has no power to engage in actual investment promotion, facilitation and advocacy,” she said.

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