President's press briefing lacked substance; Smit

02 Aug 2017 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 02 AUG (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob’s recent press briefing on the state of Namibia’s economy lacked substance and value, claimed DTA of Namibia Treasurer-General Nico Smit.
“It is my belief that the press briefing was undertaken not because the President had anything meaningful to say or to contribute to any of the numerous topics he spoke on, but rather because he wanted to be seen saying something,” said Smit in a media statement issued on Wednesday.
The Head of State held a press briefing at State House on Monday, where he spoke on various national concerns ranging from the state of the Namibian House, the economy and closure of the SME Bank to alleged cases of corruption such as the Avid Social Security case, the Development Capital Portfolio of the GIPF, the Offshore Development Company and land reform matters in relation to tribalistic utterances by some national leaders.
“Much of the President’s optimism in terms of Namibia’s economic outlook is based purely on hope,” said Smit, adding Geingob’s reference to a recovery in the agriculture sector and Windhoek’s water stocks is based on good rainfall during the recent rainy season.
Smit charged that Giengob conveniently avoided answering the question of where Namibians would find themselves should there be poor rainfall in the coming rainy season.
The DTA treasurer noted that Government’s loan of N.dollars 10 billion from the African Development Bank has eased its liquidity crisis but has no doubt alleviated the dire situation, adding that this action alone is not sustainable.
“[Borrowing] money to pay off debt can never be seen as a viable long term solution,” said Smit.
Speaking to Nampa in an interview on Wednesday, independent economist and Managing Director of Twilight Capital Consulting Mally Likukela said the President looked at the lead indicators used to predict changes in the economy, but they are not always accurate.
Likukela emphasised that lead indicators such as motor vehicle sales data, building plan registrations and construction data can only be right on condition that they are sustained and supported.
“The good rain that he looked at cannot translate into a recovery because what if there is an outbreak of worms in crop farming during that season, which might result in a poor harvest,” said Likukela.
“This indicates that the state of the economy is still the same,” said Likukela.