08 Mar 2016 14:50pm
SWAKOPMUND, 08 MAR (NAMPA) - There will be no recruitment in the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) during the 2016/17 financial year while a reduction in the early retirement age is on the cards, Defence Minister Penda ya Ndakolo revealed at Swakopmund on Monday.
As we heed the call not to recruit in the next financial year, we should take cognisance of the fact that our force is ageing and hence those who are retiring need to be replaced.
In this regard, we must look at other alternatives such as making savings by implementing the personnel policies. It should also be noted that one of Governments proposed initiatives is to look at reducing the early retirement age, which is in line with our reviewed personnel policies, YaNdakolo said.
He was speaking at the official opening of the ministrys six-day review of the 2015/16 budget to note achievements, challenges and plan ahead.
A crosscheck with the ministrys spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Monica Sheya said the halt in recruitment is to cut costs.
We are all striving to economise just like any other Government institution. Recruitment is a Government policy, depending on the availability of funds and we only recruit when Cabinet says so. If we are not given the green light then we cannot do it, Sheya replied.
Ya Ndakolo said the estimated 2016/17 budget was cut by more than N.dollars 600 million and instructions were given by Cabinet on which activities must be foregone.
The Ministry of Defence is expecting a budget of N.dollars 6.6 billion, which is lower than the N.dollars 7.3 billion received the previous financial year.
This requires us to reprioritise our needs and apply stringent cost-effective measures. I therefore expect that this important meeting comes up with workable solutions to offset the forfeited resources, said the minister.
He continued that an assessment of the performance of all entities in the ministry must be done to ensure that mandates are carried out effectively.
On improved service delivery, Ya Ndakolo said he expects the meeting to identify one or two processes that are hampering efficient service delivery for re-engineering.
We must not be complacent in planning and preparing for the defence of our motherland from external aggression. We must also not underestimate societal issues in our country which may trigger internal unrest.
He said for the ministry to remain the pride of the nation, they need to forge ahead with the vision of developing a mobile, well equipped and well trained all volunteer force.
This, he said, can only be achieved if there is a perfect mix of troops and equipment.
We all know that our profession is both human capital and material intensive. For that, we require a proper mix of the two, perfected by training and an effective command and control system, which cannot be overemphasised. It is therefore up to us to conduct a proper audit of both our human and material resources to ensure that we remain a force to be reckoned with, despite budget limitations.
The meeting, which started on Monday, is being attended by high-ranking officials and management members from the Defence, Air and Navy Forces.