The Namibian (Windhoek)

20 June 2013

Namibia: Keep Your Hands On the Deck - Pohamba

PRESIDENT Hifikepunye Pohamba has urged permanent secretaries to work hard to improve service delivery in the countryfor the benefit of the people.

He was speaking to the government's chief accounting officers during a meeting at State House yesterday morning.

“I have in mind the provision of services such as potable water, healthcare, education, electricity, housing and sanitation,” Pohamba said adding that he also wanted the creation of a conducive environment in which small and medium enterprises would operate and thrive to provide a livelihood for the people.

“It is our task and mandate as the government to attend to these problems and to do so, to the best of our ability,” he urged the permanent secretaries, adding that government must find ways and means to overcome obstacles to service delivery for the benefit of the electorate.

“No one else is going to do it for us,” Pohamba said as he challenged his top government officials to be innovate and find solutions to challenges the country faced and adopt more effective ways to achieve its goals and objectives. He said the permanent secretaries were responsible for the smooth management of government institutions and that the political leadership in the country expects them to keep their hands firmly on the deck to ensure that the country is steered in the right direction.Pohamba advised them that it is their obligation to clearly understand that the political leadership was ultimately accountable for the realisation of mandates given to ministries, government offices and agencies by the electorate.

In addition, the President said that the accounting officers are expected to assist political leaders to achieve government goals.

“I would like to state it emphatically that our accounting officers and staff members are duty-bound to drive the implementation process with a sense of urgency,” said the President.

Pohamba welcomed the permanent secretaries' proposal to hold a retreat at which the accounting officers and political office bearers would discuss issues regarding the political and administrative interface in the public institutions. The permanent secretaries came up with the proposal after they held a retreat in February.

Pohamba challenged the permanent secretaries to maintain high ethical and integrity standards in their work in view of concerns that have been raised over the running of the country's public procurement and tendering system.

“I urge you to ensure that these functions are carried out in a manner that is beyond reproach.”

Pohamba held a similar meeting with the permanent secretaries this time last year to discuss the urgent need to improve service delivery in the different sectors in the country.

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