Nghipunya pins Fishcor’s failures on past regime

13 May 2018 14:20pm
WALVIS BAY, 13 MAY (NAMPA) – The previous leadership of National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) had no understanding of its mandate and failed to fully exploit Namibia’s marine resources, its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mike Nghipunya said Saturday.
While pointing fingers at his predecessors led by CEO Ronnie Coppin for the poor financial state, Nghipunya was quick to note that he could not respond on their behalf.
“I cannot explain the losses because I was not the CEO then. So, the CEO at the time will explain the losses better,” said Nghipunya during a media tour of Fishcor’s onshore horse mackerel processing facility under construction.
Asked what changes he made to transform the entity from the once loss-making business into a profit-making and efficient company, Nghipunya, who was appointed acting CEO in 2014 before assuming the position in a substantive capacity at the end of 2016, said knowing and understanding Fishcor’s potential was key in this regard.
“We started making profits because we knew the potential and privileges of the group that we exploited for us to start making profit,” he said.
Supremely, Nghipunya improved Fishcor’s production, catch and refrigeration capacity which were all lacking from the previous leadership.
“We have had our vessels operating continuously and consistently which was not the case in the previous years, because the vessels are part of the cost,” he said.
According to Nghipunya, they invested in the right fishing vessels and repaired those that were in an ailing state which improved both their catching capacity and revenue.
“That was the catch,” he said.
Between 2008 and 2014, Fishcor averaged N.dollars 60 million in revenue generation.
However, in the last three years since Nghipunya took charge, the company has recorded profits of N.dollars 249 million, N.dollars 209 million and N.dollars 285 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Quizzed whether the sudden upward trajectory in their profits could be attributed to its lion’s share fishing quota that is worth more than N.dollars 1,8 billion, Nghipunya retorted the quota was not sustainably utilised because there was no catch capacity.
“There was no production efficiency; that is what we brought in.”
On whether they were being spoon-fed by the fisheries ministry as reported by the media, he said: “Yes it [quota] did help us to revitalise the processes of the company, which is your processing capacity and catching capacity.”
He then downplayed suggestions that Fishcor was receiving special preference from fisheries minister Bernhardt Essau.
“If you are saying that we are being spoon-fed, then it means every company that has received a quota has been spoon-fed by the ministry.”
Nghipunya said poor corporate governance, job insecurity, lack of operational capital and poor management were some of the factors that hindered the company’s operations in the past.