15 Dec 2015 19:40pm
WINDHOEK, 15 DEC (NAMPA) - President Hage Geingob has strongly denied allegations by members of the public that Government has been insensitive in its spending.
The mainstream media such as local newspapers and social media have over the past few months been flooded with concerns that Government has been on a spending spree.
Geingob, during a televised media briefing at State House on Monday however disputed these assertions.
The media briefing was called to reflect on the presidents first nine months in office.
This accusation is not true, facts on the ground show that the stance of fiscal policy did not change, Geingob said.
According to him, the countrys fiscal rules - in particular the debt rule - remain intact.
To support growth, the debt to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ceiling would be lifted to 35 per cent, which is still far below internationally accepted standards for debt sustainability, he noted.
Today it stands at 25 per cent whilst some developed economies of the world have figures as high as 60 to 100 per cent.
Geingob explained that that since he assumed office, he critically looked at spending patterns and have personally put on hold some spending, deemed not productive, such as the traditionally practiced year end function for staff of the Office of the President that was called off.
The Head of State noted that spending on items such as the development of the Kudu Gas to Power Project was also put on hold.
The suspension of this project alone will save Government in excess of N.dollars 10 billion over the next three years.
Geingob also said some have argued that Governments Executive wing has become bloated, but that he admitted to it already during a press conference where he announced the new Cabinet.
I however also explained that this was done in the hope that the effectiveness of Government will improve; we are aware that the jury is still out.
The Head of State said that any effective system needs adequate personnel and a supportive infrastructure and that Namibia is no exception.
Accompanied by the Vice-President, Nickey Iyambo, Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and her Deputy, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, also Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Geingob called the press conference to reflect on his first year in presidency 2015. Members of the media also had the opportunity to ask the panel questions.
Pertinent pronouncements made during the course of the year included, building a strong, unified and inclusive Namibian House; promoting transparency to manage conflict of interest and promoting accountability to ensure improved service delivery; declaring all-out war on poverty and inequality; regularly engaging with communities through town hall meetings; and streamlining cabinet decision making processes.