Budget cut has Fisheries admin adapt

16 Feb 2017 20:00pm
SWAKOPMUND, 16 FEB (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources will put measures in place to cope with the budget cut and do more work with less money.
Their 2016/17 budget was slashed by 10 per cent, which is about N.dollars 29.5 million, and further reduced by 42.3 per cent for the 2017/18 financial year.
Minister Bernhard Esau introduced the administrative measures at the annual staff meeting in Swakopmund on Thursday.
He said the budget cut has forced the ministry into the corner but that does not mean they will let the situation deter operations.
Esau said several planned activities are postponed because there is no money.
“The budget cut requires that we reprioritise all our activities and focus mainly on those that produce tangible results.”
He said surveillance by patrol ships and flights, as well as research activities are the most affected because these take up a big chunk of the budget.
As such, the ministry hopes to save money by cutting costs and re-allocating the funds to other activities.
“We have to get used to the ‘new normal’ where we have to do more with less.”
The minister gave assurance that the ministry will work hard to ensure that they perform their mandate of managing the aquatic resources, even if they have little funds.
He noted that there will be no retrenchment but the ministry will not be employing new staff until they get more money.
Other administrative operations at the ministry are also to adapt to the budget cut.
He said they plan to use own facilities for meetings instead of the usual hired venues and apply information and communication technology such as video conferencing and emailing to reduce the travels to meetings.
Esau said they will also reduce their use of paper and only print when necessary, while staff are to share vehicles when traveling for duties.
Other measures include saving electricity by ensuring the lights are off before leaving the offices and turning off water taps and air conditioners whenever leaving the building.
Staff members were also warned not to share research information with the media or individuals as that “will put the house on fire”.
“If I ever find out that you share such information without permission from the Permanent Secretary, you are out, you will be in the street without a job,” he threatened the staff.