Windhoek — The newly appointed Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Alpheus !Naruseb, has said he expects nothing but professionalism from his staff.
He said they all need to treat fellow staff members and customers with the necessary courtesy and respect while observing the public service staff rules and procedures.
!Naruseb made the remarks last Thursday at an event to welcome him to the ministry, which was previously headed by John Mutorwa. The two swapped roles following a recent Cabinet reshuffle, which saw Mutorwa transferred to the Ministry of Works and Transport.
He highlighted the directives recently issued by Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, which detail cost-cutting measures.
"These directives and all other existing ones must strictly be adhered to. As such, I expect the ministry to contribute to the reduction of uncoordinated travel by government officials and save on DSA [daily subsistence allowance], overtime and utility costs," he directed.
He also touched on the importance of the three sectors [agriculture, water and forestry) under the mandate of the ministry.
Furthermore, he said he expects total commitment and support from each and every one to ensure the effective and efficient implementation of the ministry's programmes and projects and ultimately to deliver on the mandate and the strategic plan of the ministry.
As such, he said it would be important for everyone to have a collective sense of responsibility towards prompt and timely implementation of decisions and directives.
"I strongly believe in teamwork as a way of delivering effectively on the mandate of a ministry as big as this one. I believe that creativity and learning thrive when people work together as a team because through teamwork individual strengths are blended in a complementary manner," he said.
According to him, there cannot be development without water, while improved sanitation requires access to sufficient and quality water.
Similarly, he added there could be no development without food security.
Although the agriculture sector contributes around 3.4 percent to Namibia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), about 70 percent of the population directly or indirectly derives its livelihoods from the agriculture sector.
Equally, he said he is aware of the harsh and worsening climatic conditions under which Namibia's agriculture is conducted.
"I am sure that I will learn more details about the existing sector policies, laws, strategies and programmes to develop the agriculture, water and forestry sectors, as well as all other specific challenges facing the three sectors."
He added that he would also learn of the development initiatives undertaken at the ministry, through briefings from the Office of the Permanent Secretary, as well as those from all our stakeholders through their representatives.
He assured that his office and that of the permanent secretary would be open for consultations through the chairpersons and chief executive officers of various respective boards, as well as heads of associations that may not have boards.
He maintained that he would be guided by the national policies such as the National Development Plans (NDPs), Harambee Prosperity Plan, the ruling Swapo Party Manifesto and Vision 2030 in steering the sectors towards a unified, inclusive and prosperous development and growth path.