NIP under fire for wasted N$7m

16 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste is deeply concerned about the more than N$7 million spent on disciplinary procedures and acting allowances at the Namibia Institute of Pathology (NIP) over the past year.

Jooste yesterday said the “legal fee [N$5.6 million] is of particular concern to me and in my opinion beyond acceptable norms.”

These legal costs relate to internal disciplinary actions against six employees instituted over the past year. One of the cases was the disciplinary action against former NIP CEO Augustinus Katiti, who was fired last year. Documents released this week showed that each disciplinary case was given to a different law firm, resulting in six law firms handling six individual cases.

The minister stressed yesterday that in cases where suspensions were condoned, he made it “clear to boards that the investigations and disciplinary processes must be concluded as soon as possible.”

“I also want to make it clear that individual board members may be held personally liable for any undue financial consequences, to ensure that boards conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis based on solid evidence to guide their decision-making,” he warned.





NIP documents shared on public forums recently show the company spent just over N$1.5 million on acting allowances for seven senior NIP managers between June 2018 and September 2019.

NIP chief internal auditor Mecky Nghipandulwa, who served as acting CEO from 2018 until September this year, earned N$699 704 according to the documents.

The seven NIP managers who acted in higher positions reportedly received acting allowances in addition to their usual pay, although Namibian Sun was unable to obtain confirmation of these expenses from NIP by the time of going to print.

Speaking about the extra spending necessitated by disciplinary procedures, Jooste said he was “definitely not happy about this, as it has resulted in diverting money meant for productive activities towards acting allowances and legal fees.”

The minister has frequently criticised the “suspension culture” at public enterprises, including the lengthy time officials stay home with full pay and benefits.

Yesterday, he said: “I want to see a situation where these suspensions are a thing of the past.”

He added that where suspensions are approved by the ministry, it is critical they are concluded quickly.

“I always make it very clear that the disciplinary process should be concluded as a matter of urgency, and in cases where it leads to a dismissal, the recruitment process should be equally expedited to mitigate the negative consequences.”

On the way forward, Jooste said the NIP board has to “weigh the consequences and cost of prolonged legal processes versus alternative solutions to restore the corporate governance integrity as soon as is possible.”

He said the problems at NIP must be handled by the board and the acting executives, who must at all times “act in the best interest of the entity to find the most acceptable solution.”

JANA-MARI SMITH

Similar News

 

Presidency defends Nicanor appointment

3 days ago - 11 November 2019 | Government

The presidency has defended President Hage Geingob's decision to appoint Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor as special advisor in the office of the vice-president as necessary...

No sale of SOEs for now

6 days ago - 08 November 2019 | Government

The partial sale of Namibia's state-owned enterprises is not being considered at the moment with the exception of MTC, which is expected to be listed...

No policy on Chinese engagements

1 week ago - 07 November 2019 | Government

Despite its growing political engagement, exponential increase in trade, and sizable public works contracts being awarded to Chinese companies, the Namibian government has not produced...

Councillor urges N$76m Rundu bailout

1 week ago - 06 November 2019 | Government

KENYA KAMBOWE Rundu Concerned Citizens Association (RCCA) chairperson Reginald Ndara, who also serves as a councillor on the local town council, has...

N$590m asset-rich August 26 sheds old skin

1 week ago - 01 November 2019 | Government

The August 26 Holding Company, which has been operating under a thick veil of secrecy, has announced plans to rebrand and triple its dividends from...

Procurement skills, expertise lacking

2 weeks ago - 31 October 2019 | Government

A lack of professional skills and expertise among officials implementing the public procurement system is at the root of the problems undermining the credibility of...

Over 16 SOEs without CEOs

3 weeks ago - 24 October 2019 | Government

More than 16 state-owned enterprises are without CEOs, with no appointments in sight for the majority of them.Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste is unsettled by...

Access still denied

3 weeks ago - 22 October 2019 | Government

Although all hands are on deck to put the final touches to the long-awaited Access to Information (ATI) Bill for tabling in parliament this year...

NIP under fire for wasted N$7m

4 weeks ago - 16 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste is deeply concerned about the more than N$7 million spent on disciplinary procedures and acting allowances at the Namibia Institute...

Jooste tackles 'suspension culture'

1 month - 11 October 2019 | Government

Public enterprises minister Leon Jooste says some state-owned enterprises continue to defy a standing order that CEO and senior management suspensions should only take place...

Latest News

A fish rots from the...

15 hours ago | Columns

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes,” Mark Twain once said.In the end, truth will...

Namcor ready to run fuel...

15 hours ago | Business

The Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor) expects to take delivery of the strategic fuel storage facility next month, a company official has told Namibian Sun....

How the 'sharks' were netted

15 hours ago | Fishing

An international scandal has erupted with an exposé of more than 30 000 documents released by WikiLeaks which show that an Icelandic fishing company, SAMHERJI,...

NSFAF explains payment woes

15 hours ago | Education

The Namibia Student Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF) has blamed the delayed payment of non-tuition fees to students on the unavailability of funds and its internal...

Hospital ­denies Itula ­allegation

15 hours ago | Health

The regional directorate of health for Ohangwena has denied an allegation by independent presidential candidate Panduleni Itula that a patient at Eenhana district hospital had...

Devil's claw under threat

15 hours ago | Environment

The increase in illegal grazing in the Nyae Nyae Conservancy and Community Forest, as well as illegal fences in the N#a Jaqna Conservancy and Community...

More dark days ahead

15 hours ago | Sports

The Fifa normalisation committee says it still has to consult its lawyers before making a decision on the way forward for the Namibia Premier League...

Mining tourney hailed as a...

15 hours ago | Sports

A three-day tournament that featured different mining employees from across the country, which took place at Otjiwarongo from Friday to Sunday, has been described as...

They have to go, says...

1 day - 13 November 2019 | Crime

Staff ReporterHighly placed sources indicated this morning that President Hage Geingob is planning to jettison justice minister Sacky Shanghala and fisheries minister Bernhardt Esau from...

Load More