6 January 2016

Namibia: N$7 Billion Airport Tender to Be Advertised

THE N$7 billion tender for the new Hosea Kutako International Airport that was cancelled last year will be advertised soon, presidential spokesperson Albertus Aochamub has said.

The tender was cancelled after a directive by President Hage Geingob in which he cited irregularities in the manner the Namibia Airports Company had awarded the tender to the Chinese firm Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Corporation as reasons for the cancellation.

Speaking to The Namibian on Sunday, Aochamub emphasised President Geingob's new year message in which he stated the need for all government ministries and parastatals to follow correct procurement regulations.

Although an agreement on the tender was signed by NAC and Anhui, Aochamub said the line minister and the board of the parastatal will deal with those who signed the deal.

"The key is to ensure that all good governance provisions are adhered to in full," he said.

Aochamub was however non-committal about the possibility of a legal challenge from Anhui over the cancelled agreement.

"One deals with all these issues as they arise. The Namibian law takes precedence over any personal or other considerations," he said.

Finance minister Calle Schlettwein yesterday expressed dissatisfaction over the way the NAC handled the tender process saying that although he was aware of the tender, he did not know of the agreement between the Chinese company and the airports company. He described the situation as being 'worrisome'.

"It is worrisome that an SOE commits to such a big project which might even prove to be unaffordable to the government, without government involvement. It is wrong and it is uncalled for.

"The time has come for SOEs to stop this kind of management and acting as if the government does not exist and that their shareholders are only there to bail them out," he said.

He further added that the botched tender is now a problem for the government to rectify as it is undergoing re-evaluation in terms of what should be done as well as how much the government can commit to the project.

The NAC had only issued an expression of interest to several companies during 2014, and never put the project to public tender.

The company also pushed the deal through without the agreement of attorney general Sacky Shanghala, who is responsible for the oversight of big contracts that bind the government.

Several companies had expressed dissatisfaction with the awarding of the tender and claimed that they were disadvantaged in the process.

The Namibian reported that a lot of state officials and others stood to benefit from the tender as they would get kickbacks amounting to N$500 million for pushing the tender through.

This sparked an outcry as the tender, which is worth N$7 billion, was approved by the finance ministry at a time when the country was financially unstable.

When asked about the project at his last press conference of the year about three weeks ago, Geingob said the tender was a roll-over project and that it could not be stopped.

However, last month Geingob issued a press statement announcing that the lucrative tender had been cancelled due to the clouded manner in which the airports company had handled it.

Namibia

Chinese Remain in Custody Over Ivory

THE two Chinese nationals who were arrested after being found in possession of processed ivory products, on Wednesday,… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 The Namibian. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 1,000 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.