Geingob welcomes recommendation for unit for State projects

18 Apr 2019 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 18 APR (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob on Wednesday welcomed a proposal by Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani for a national delivery unit that will do checks and balances on State projects to ensure their implementation without cost escalations.
“We are not here to create millionaires,” Geingob said in agreement.
Venaani submitted the proposal to Geingob during the State of the Nation Address, in which the president laid bare some milestones and challenges encountered by his administration over the last four years.
The leader of the official opposition proposed the establishment of a national delivery unit of highly skilled personnel that will oversee and monitor the implementation of government projects.
“One of the problems we have in this country is cost escalation on government projects. The house of former President Sam Nujoma that was supposed to be built for N.dollars 20 million is now costing taxpayers N.dollars 43 million and we are losing a lot of money,” Venaani said when he motivated the need for the unit.
Geingob agreed with Venaani, directing Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein to explore the idea further.
“If an idea is good, it is good. It does not matter where it comes from,” Geingob said.
Venaani also wanted to know what benefits Government accrued from the investment conference held in 2016.
Geingob in response reminded Venaani that the results of the conference, which was described as a resounding success, will not be felt overnight.
Be that as it may, Geingob added: “As for the investment (conference), 134 new projects worth N.dollars 2.65 billion (came from it) and 1 601 new jobs were created. Altogether, 48 857 jobs were created in 2018.”
Another issue Venaani was dissatisfied with was Geingob’s efforts in fighting graft and abuse of State resources.
“You are very good at talking about accountability,” Venaani said before the Chairperson of the National Council, Margaret Mensah-Williams interjected, saying: “He [Geingob] is showing it.”
Venaani replied to Mensah-Williams, who applauded every utterance made by Geingob: “You are not the president. I am not talking to you.”
He then continued: “You are correct to say you stopped the tender (to upgrade the Hosea Kutako International Airport), but you have not come to the party to say who the individuals were who inflated this tender because it is one thing to say you are fighting corruption, but those who perpetrated the act are still in the system.”
Delivering the annual address to a fully-packed National Assembly chamber, Geingob said although hampered by an unfavourable economic climate and severe droughts, progress had been made in tackling corruption and reviving the weak economy.
In the State of the Nation Address, Geingob unpacked the successes of his administration in its endeavours to maintain an effective government, socio-economic development, economic advancement, social progression and infrastructure development as set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan.