11 December 2012

Namibia: Nghimtina Beats Own Drum

THE minister of works and transport, Erkki Nghimtina, says his ministry has “achieved notable milestones” in its quest to fulfil its obligations.

Nghimtina made the remark at the ministry’s year-end function on Thursday, despite his ministry being in the news mostly for the wrong reasons.

Under his administration, parastatals such as Roads Authority, Namibia Airports Company (NAC), and TransNamib are currently without permanent chief executive officers.

Nghimtina said the ministry, with assistance from the German Technical Cooperation, had made efforts to improve efficiency and effectiveness in the running of state-owned enterprises.

He said the technical assistance would help in the formulation of performance agreements for SOEs.

“It is a fact that many SOEs are finding it difficult to achieve operational efficiencies, and require financial resources to be extended to them by government,” he said.

The minister added that the government was aware of the fact that SOEs need to ensure continuity due to the nature of services provided, but he warned that effective controls were needed to ensure “proper accountability, monitoring and performance reporting”.

Last month, Nghimtina, one of the few ministers that escaped the Cabinet reshuffle, told The Namibian he wouldn’t take action on a report that recommended the dismissal of the NAC board.

Also this year, TransNamib, an SOE which falls under his ministry, was ordered to pay its dismissed former chief executive officer, Titus Haimbili, and chief operating officer, Charles Funda.

Haimbili was to be awarded N$900 000 – N$100 000 for each of the nine months remaining on his employment contract – while Funda was to be awarded N$1 million.

TransNamib also lost about N$15 million due to a strike in February.

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