NAC not in position to finance airport upgrade

22 Dec 2015 20:20pm
WINDHOEK, 22 DEC (NAMPA) – The Namibia Airports Company (NAC) is not in a position to finance the envisaged N.dollars 7 billion upgrade and expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport (HKIA).
This is because the NAC process cannot replace the Tender Board of Namibia processes, the Office of the President says.
In a statement availed to Nampa on Tuesday, Press Secretary in the Office of the President Albertus Aochamub said since the NAC is not in such position, the project will be procured at Government level under the Tender Board of Namibia Act No. 16 of 1996.
The statement said President Hage Geingob has however instructed Government through the Ministry of Works and Transport to terminate the awarding of the Hosea Kutako International Airport’s upgrade tender and restart the process under the said ministry.
The tender was awarded to Chinese firm Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Corporation without being approved by the office of the Attorney-General, which is supposed to approve major deals that bind the Treasury.
The NAC issued an expression of interest for the project to which 20 companies responded, but a formal tender process was not followed.
However, the NAC is not mandated to finance the HKIA upgrade and expansion project, the statement said.
Aochamub said an expression of interest cannot automatically translate into a tender process, thus some companies that did not react to the initial expression of interest might be at a disadvantage.
The Press Secretary also stated that since the newly approved Public Procurement Act of 2015 has been signed into law, Government will take a keen interest in ensuring that the procurement of services, even from public enterprises, State Owned Enterprises (SoE) and local authorities, is transparent.
The main objective of the Public Procurement Act is to regulate the procurement of goods and services; letting; hiring; acquisition; granting of rights and the disposal of property of public bodies, and will see preference given to locally manufactured products.
The Act contains essential provisions to ensure that the objectives of transparency, value for money, accountability, fair competition and equal treatment of all bidders are achieved.
To this effect, the president has therefore resolved to instruct the Minister of Works and Transport to act under Section 9(b) of the Airports Company Act of 1998 to direct that the NAC discontinues all activities relating to the upgrading of the HKIA.
“It is hoped that as a Government project, the correct, adequate and transparent tender procedures will be followed,” he said.
The statement further said the new Procurement Act will be operationalised with urgency to ensure a predictable, transparent and credible procurement procedure.
“All participants must be told upfront what they will be evaluated against. This will ensure that conspiracy theories do not crop up and cast suspicion upon our processes,” Aochamub added.