Neeef still alive: PM

18 Dec 2018 08:00am
WINDHOEK, 18 DEC (NAMPA) – Despite reserving N.dollars 700 000 for the implementation of the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (Neeef) Bill in 2018, failure to do so does not mean that the Bill is dead, Prime Minister (PM) Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has said.
She made these comments in a recent interview Nampa, in which she explained why the Neeef Bill could not be tabled in the National Assembly (NA) in 2018 as planned.
The NA’s Seventh Session of the Sixth Parliament concluded its business for 2018 last month, passing a total of 20 Bills in the process.
The Neeef Bill was not one of them.
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila indicated that the delay in the tabling was because they had to accommodate conflicting views.
“When you have an issue that is difficult, where you have different views, it is important to take everyone along. And when you do that, sometimes there are costs that you have to bear and in this particular case, the cost that we are incurring is the cost of timeliness.”
According to her, it is better for Government to take more time and have everyone on board.
Consultations around the Bill have concluded and a report was submitted to Cabinet for approval and input.
“(But) when the report came to Cabinet, there were some more input and Cabinet decided that a technical committee looks at it again,” the PM noted.
The former Treasury boss promised that the now revamped Neeef Bill would be unveiled and tabled in the NA next year.
“It (Neeef) is still alive. Definitely, there is no going back as I have indicated, it’s a matter of details.”
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila said Neeef in essence seeks to ensure that Namibia’s resources are shared equitably and in a sustainable fashion.
“Nobody should think that we are going to take away their things,” she said.
Government has been accused of bowing down to external forces when it removed the 25 per cent equity clause in the Bill.
Rally for Democracy and Progress secretary general Mike Kavekotora earlier this year said Neeef had collapsed, and what is left was a mockery of the original plan.
Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani said Neeef was meaningless without the 25 per cent clause, while Swanu’s Usutuaije Maamberua also said the government did not have the guts to implement the Neeef Bill.