NIDA to clean up 'mess'

The new board of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency says it will not tolerate corruption and will grow the entity for greater prosperity for all Namibians.

22 August 2019 | Local News

The board of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA) says it is unfairly portrayed in negative media reporting because it is in the process of “cleaning up the mess” left by the former managements of the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and the Offshore Development Corporation (ODC).

NIDA was established by an act of parliament in 2016 as an amalgamation of the NDC and ODC, which are being wound down.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts on Monday, the board agreed that the situation at the two entities was “shocking” and vowed that it is committed to make a complete turnaround.

“We remain shocked by the day as we move on, but we have decided not be distracted and we are determined to do the right thing,” said NIDA executive director Uparura Kuvare.

The chairperson of the board, Frans Kwala, even suggested that the NDC and ODC were worse run than a cuca shop.

By way of illustrating the “mess” at the entities, Kwala said the outgoing board of the ODC at its last meeting in November last year still insisted on pushing through a tender for a pharmaceutical plant at Okahandja.

The minister of industrialisation, trade and SME development, Tjekero Tweya, shortly thereafter dissolved the boards of the ODC and NDC.

Still, Kwala said, without having been properly informed, the new caretaker board of NIDA was confronted with tenders still being advertised in the newspapers.

“We had to rescue the situation because it was very, very bad,” Kwala said, charging that since the inception of the NDC and ODC nothing had happened “except personal interests”. The board reported that there were no management and accounting controls, nor sufficient policies in place when it came on board.

Kuvare reported that there were only three policies in place and that the board is now developing 32 governance instruments to drive the agenda as prescribed under the NIDA Act of 2016.

PDM MP Nico Smit said it is about time that executives and managers be held personally accountable for mismanaging ministries and parastatals.

“We cannot go on like this. One after the other parastatals and ministries just don't care how they spend taxpayers' money and nothing happens to them. They run the company or ministry into the ground, millions upon millions are lost and nobody is being held accountable,” Smit said.

The NIDA board said the effects of the clean-up are already being felt.

The former acting managing director of the NDC, Pieter de Wet, has resigned and four managers are currently on suspension.

“We had cases where we had to call in ambulances because of the queries we make; people collapse at work because we are getting to the right tone of things,” Kuvare said.

The board reported that the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the Namibian police are investigating “irregularities”, while internal investigations into alleged mismanagement, fraud and theft are also under way.

It reported having come across a number of “strange” and “irregular” practices at the two entities.

At the NDC, managers would get “as a gift” two cattle for their birthday, N$5 000 if they had to go to a funeral, and despite receiving car allowances were still using company cars and petrol cards.

There were reports of the livestock of the NDC not having been vaccinated, of grapevines planted on 25 hectares at the Naute Dam irrigation project being uprooted two or three years later because the wrong cultivars were planted, and of no auditing at harvest time.

The board has also terminated the long-standing contract with the marketer of the Naute Dam grapes because, according to Kuvare, neither the NDC nor NIDA benefited from it.

“As a board we have said zero tolerance of corruption will prevail, and that is what we are busy with. At the same time, we say Namibians need prosperity and that must be brought about by us growing those sustained industries,” Kuvare said.

“Namibians deserve better,” echoed Kwala.



NIDA Act to be reviewed

The board has suggested that the NIDA Act be reviewed to put it in a position to recruit new staff. The act currently states that the former NDC and OCD staff must be absorbed by the new entity.

The board said a new recruitment process is needed because the current workforce does not have sufficient capacity.

Of the current 271 permanent employees, 55 are over the age of 60. There is only one person with a master's degree. Of the eight young people employed, only one earns a salary of over N$5 000 per month. NIDA has about 230 part-time employees.

CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

AR plots city takeover

11 hours ago | Local News

The provision of more than 75 000 houses, the recruitment of 3 000 security personnel, and the reopening of Ramatex to provide all municipal uniforms...

Govt office without power since July

11 hours ago | Local News

The agriculture ministry's state-of-the-art Kavango East regional headquarters in Rundu has been without electricity for over two months.This is after Nored disconnected the electricity supply...

NHE suspends Titus

11 hours ago | Local News

The National Housing Enterprise (NHE) this week suspended its senior manager for business development and operations, Willem Titus. The company announced the suspension in a...

Kavekotora brags about 'knockout victory'

11 hours ago | Local News

While some party members are threatening court action to nullify his election as party president in June this year, Mike Kavekotora yesterday bragged that his...

Sanitary pads bring joy

11 hours ago | Local News

Over 260 schoolgirls from Ncamagoro Combined School could not contain their joy on Tuesday, when they each received a parcel containing free sanitary products and...

Ekondjitho lyuukongo waaheli paveta

11 hours ago | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT Opolisi yaNamibia oya tumu iilyo yi li 280 opo yi ka yambidhidhe mekondjitho lyuukongo waaheli paveta.Omukomeho gwopolisi, Sebastian Ndeitunga okwa popi kutya...

NCCI a hogolola aaleli monooli

11 hours ago | Local News

ILENI NANDJATO Ehangano lyoNamibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) olya ningi omitumba dhalyo dhokomvula miitayi yawo Ondangwa, Oshakati nOngwediva moka aaleli aape ya hogololwa.Omahogololo...

Kashindi gets nod as Omusati CRO

1 day - 18 September 2019 | Local News

The Omusati regional council has appointed Gervasius Kashindi as its new chief regional officer (CRO).Kashindi, who is the current director of general services, replaces Protasius...

Hearing-impaired 'left out'

3 days ago - 16 September 2019 | Local News

An association representing the hearing-impaired says it is high time that their needs are looked at and addressed, as they feel neglected.Chairperson of the Namibian...

Omategelelo noHIV tayi teya po aanona moNamibia

6 days ago - 13 September 2019 | Local News

Shoka osha kolekwa kuVeronica Theron, omugandjimayele gopautekinika mOmbelewa yOmunyekadhi gwOshilongo, ngoka a popi woo kutya moshitopolwa shaKunene omakwatathano gopahole pokati komapupi ga yooloka ogeli...

Latest News

Oshakati hospital rundown, understaffed

11 hours ago | Health

The 750-bed Oshakati Intermediary Hospital, which serves close to a million patients a year, is operating without a paediatrician, neonatologist, neurosurgeon, dietician, clinical psychologist and...

Roar young lions, roar!

11 hours ago | Columns

Youth without a consistent voice are inevitably excluded from the pockets of power that exist throughout societies.Youth who become praise-singers and imbongis, even when they...

Teko trio walk free

11 hours ago | Justice

Teckla Lameck, Jerobeam Mokaxwa and Chinese national Yang Fang, known as the Teko trio, have been found not guilty of all charges relating to a...

'He decided to flee'

11 hours ago | Crime

Defence minister Penda Ya Ndakolo says Benisius Kalola (32), the second unarmed civilian killed during Operation Kalahari Desert this year, was shot when he fled...

280 cops deployed against poachers

11 hours ago | Crime

The Namibian police have deployed 280 members to assist in the fight against poaching.Inspector-general Sebastian Ndeitunga says these members, selected from across the country, are...

Uanivi gets Warriors chance

11 hours ago | Sports

African Stars veteran defender Pat-Navin Uanivi has finally been selected for the national team after years of being omitted. Uanivi forms part of Brave Warriors...

Horn suspended for alleged doping

11 hours ago | Sports

South African women's 100m record holder Carina Horn has been suspended from competition over doping allegations.The Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced on Monday: “The AIU...

'Hitman' faces tough brawl

11 hours ago | Sports

Former two-time world champion Paulus 'Hitman' Moses is set for tough night, as he not only faces Russia's Adlan Aburashidov, but also the home-ground advantage...

Loubser ready to get his...

11 hours ago | Sports

Four years ago, Cliven Loubser was inspired after watching his native Namibia score a try against New Zealand and earn their first Rugby World Cup...

Load More