War veterans open cold storage facility at Walvis Bay

26 Sep 2015 14:40pm


Naras Investment Limited, a Namibian company owned by veterans of the liberation struggle, opened a N.dollars 43.5 million solar powered cold storage facility here on Friday.

Naras Investment is a subsidiary of Kuiseb Fishing Enterprises, and 90 per cent of shares are held by war veterans. The facility was officially opened by Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources Bernard Esau.

It is powered by 1 150 solar panels and has a storage capacity of 1 566 pallets, which is equivalent to 1.5 million kilogrammes of fish and other marine products. The company plans to extend the storage capacity to 4 300 pallets in the near future. A total of 10 people including drivers, stock controllers and accountants received employment at the facility.

Speaking at the official opening, Executive Chairperson of Naras Investment, Festus Naholo said the company saw a niche in the market and grabbed the opportunity, because the only cold storage used by fishing companies in Walvis Bay belongs to Namport.

He said the Namport storage gets full fast and most companies do not get space to store their products, but now they can use the space at Naras' cold storage. The members started the company with the aim to contribute to the national economic goal of Vision 2030.

"Having been deprived of our birth rights and excluded from enjoying the abundant natural resources of our country, and having spent our youth in foreign lands fighting for the freedom and national independence of our country, we cannot be indifferent from the national reverend policy of inclusiveness," Naholo remarked.

Esau applauded Naras for opening the facility, saying it is encouraging to note that companies within the fishing sector are starting to align their strategic business activities with the ministry's focus areas such as value addition. The minister further said growth and development are not only profitably important for businesses, but are considered key drivers of the country's economy.

"From a socio-economic perspective, we cannot avoid the pertinent and most pressing issues of poverty and wealth inequalities facing our nation. Remedies such as value addition aimed at employment creation, resource distribution with other Namibians, increased corporate social investment and many other avenues are required," he said.

Esau noted that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources wishes to assure companies operating in the fishing industry of its continued support in helping them contribute towards achieving not only Vision 2030, but also the Millennium Development Goals.

"Although the ministry is the custodian of marine life and resources, it still remains the responsibility of every Namibian to protect the country's resources from abuse and to refrain from polluting the waters by dumping hazardous waste into the ocean," stressed the minister.