Namibia: Regional Councils Told to Monitor Projects in Regions

Walvis Bay — Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Obed Kandjoze has called upon regional councils to assign officials to conduct regular monitoring of projects in their respective regions.

Kandjoze made the call last week during the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development retreat for governors, regional and local authority councillors, chief regional officers and CEOs that took place in Walvis Bay.

Kandjoze, accompanied by a team from NPC, undertook familiarisation visits to acquaint himself with planning and development in the regions.

The visits, according to Kandjoze, revealed that the links between NPC, the Ministry of Urban and Rural Development and the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) have not been properly synchronised and coordinated to provide effective implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) goals.

He says his team visited 87 projects out of the 493 covered in the current Mid-Term Expenditure Framework (2019/20-2021/22) during their familiarisation visits. The 87 projects represents 18 percent of the development budget allocation amounting to a sizable government investment of N$24 billion.

"The visits revealed a number of incomplete and abandoned projects - 30 percent of the projects were completed, 32 percent were in progress, 29 were incomplete and nine percent were new initiatives," he said.

He added that they also found completed but unoccupied projects, citing long procurement processes resulting in delays in project implementations. They also found a number of incomplete sanitation facilities across the country.

Hence Kandjoze stressed the importance of coordination, stating that regional councils should at all times work closely with the NPC in conducting this exercise.

"The monitoring and evaluation function at NPC is the challenged function not only in terms of personnel but also access to adequate software through which real-time reporting could be realised. Therefore, as part of these remedial measures there is need for us to move away from the fragmented to a more synchronised database that is real-time and geared towards the provision of timely statistics for reporting on the progress of the NDPs," he said.

According to Kandjoze, NPC remains committed to and joined at the hip with regional governors' regional councils and local authorities in actualisation of shared development planning and coordination mandates as concisely articulated in the NPC act.

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