'Wage bill high but no jobs will be lost': Shiimi

22 May 2018 19:10pm
WINDHOEK, 22 MAY (NAMPA) - Although Government's wage bill has increased over the years, no civil servants have to be fired to maintain it, Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor Ipumbu Shiimi said Tuesday.
The governor said this while addressing the media at State House on Tuesday, adding that the wage bill has taken up close to 50 per cent of the government's revenue.
“This means less and less money is going to other sectors that are also critical for the well-being and growth of the economy,” Shiimi said.
He however explained that the wage bill can be reduced without firing people. He suggested that as people resign or retire, their vacant positions should not be filled until an urgent need arises.
Economic Advisor in the Office of the President, John Steytler also noted that in view of high unemployment, government will have no choice but to look at ways of reducing the wage bill without creating unemployment.
“We cannot afford to put more people on the street. We share the concern and advice of the governor that if we restructure, it should not necessarily be downsizing and should be done in a responsible manner which will not lead to unemployment,” Steytler said.
Shiimi however noted that economic growth in 2018 is slightly better than in 2017, adding that the economy contracted in the previous year, showing negative growth.
“Although growth is not significantly high, it is growing, with the assistance of certain sectors,' he said.
Shiimi noted that mining, agriculture and tourism are some of the best performing sectors with the potential to grow.
He further advised Government to put more emphasis on intensifying efforts rolled out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and the fifth National Development Plan in order to grow the economy.