Namibia: Geingob Tackles Bureaucratic Red Tape

President Hage Geingob has told his Cabinet colleagues to step up and increase their speed of implementation to the commensurate level of expectations of the population.

The President also lashed out at government officials whom he accused of failing citizens when it comes to service delivery.

“Delivery and execution are the key, and particularly the speed with which we implement decisions. Delays in decision-making undermine implementation and non-implementation results in non-service delivery.

It is in this regard that we need to get rid of implementation inertia and bureaucratic red tape,” Geingob said during a Cabinet retreat yesterday.

He said if there is no clarity, Cabinet ministers are the first line of defence and they should articulate and clarify government policy at all times.

“We do not inform; we do not engage, and we do not sufficiently explain our policies and positions to the public. Yet, we have many unbranded successes from our many good deeds,” he said.

“I can assure you that there is a price to pay if we don’t communicate robustly and if adversaries are permitted to repeat untruths without rebuttal on the side of Cabinet members. Ministers must go there and face the people. What you have been doing minister of health and minister of justice is excellent.”

On Covid-19, Geingob said an enduring recovery from this pandemic is predicated on the need to secure a stable and robust ecosystem, from which a dose of supportive fiscal and monetary interventions may be administered to reduce the economic scarring.

According to him, it is only once these preliminary steps have been taken to stabilise Namibia’s fiscal position, can government begin to meaningfully craft and implement a truly transformative portfolio of policy interventions.

He noted the N$1.3 billion-plus injection into the health sector accompanied with the N$8.1 billion stimulus package and the N$500 million SME loan scheme, were the first of many requisite remedies.

Geingob said he expects the constructive debate to reach a consensus on the strategies and actions that will result in tangible improvements in the lives of the people.

He reminded ministers of some of the key deliverables for his second term, which he directed Cabinet to finalise during the inaugural Cabinet meeting on March 24.

He said the key deliverables included the remodelling of the Namibia Students Financial Assistance Fund (NSFAF), commencement of phase 2 towards the upgrading of the Hosea Kutako International Airport, reaching finality on the way forward with desalination for security in water supply, and finalising the implementation plan for the Khomas region’s informal settlement upgrading initiative.

The others are to resolve social housing contracts under dispute from the mass housing programme and conclude and allocate completed units in Swakopmund, Walvis Bay, and Windhoek.

Another key deliverable is to approve the Export Processing Zone Incentives Regime as a matter of priority, and to table the Namibia Investment Promotion Act and Regulations in the National Assembly before end of April 2021.

He also directed to give effect to public reform commitments made at the August 2019 Economic Growth Summit and secure project investment commitments from the summit.

The others are to table the Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution Commission report to Cabinet; resolve the pending decision on the Roads Contracting Company; conclude the inquiry into the fishing quota allocation and pending 2018/19 applications; procure tractors and related implements under the NAMSIP programme before the next ploughing season; and table modalities of a Sovereign Wealth Fund to Cabinet for approval and implementation.

“I expect to receive an update on progress on each of these deliverables by the end of the first quarter of the next financial year. My advisors in attendance, please take note to follow up, working in concert with the Office of the Prime Minister, as the coordinating office for ministries,” Geingob stated.

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