MCA-N infrastructure projects behind schedule - report

28 Nov 2013 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 28 NOV (NAMPA) - Several infrastructural development projects that were implemented by the Millennium Challenge Account-Namibia (MCA-N) are behind schedule, according to the programme’s annual report which was launched here on Wednesday.
It is expected that the delay in these projects will have a knock-on effect on delivery and payments for equipping buildings such as Regional Study and Resource Centres (RSRCs) and Community Skills Development Centres (COSDECs).
“These issues have a negative effect on cash disbursements made. However, the challenges associated with construction delays are expected to be overcome in the coming year,” the report states.
The MCA-N Compact is in its fifth and final year. The compact provides grant funding for public investments in education, tourism and agriculture (livestock and indigenous natural products).
The compact was signed on 28 July 2008 between the Namibian and United States of America (USA) governments.
An amount of US dollars 304.5 million (about N.dollars 30.4 billion) was made available for development in the target sectors.
MCA-N will spend at least another US dollars 119.9 million (about N.dollars 1.19 billion) before it closes its doors in September 2014.
MCA-N Chief Executive Officer, Penny Akwenye in the foreword of the report noted that 92 per cent of the Compact’s funds have been committed, and most of the contracts are in their final stages of execution.
“To date, contracts in the combined value of US dollars 279.3 million (about N.dollars 2.79 billion) have been committed and most of them are at their final stages of execution. As of the release of this copy, we have 10 months left before MCA-N officially closes its doors on 16 September 2014,” she stressed.
Over the past year, one of the biggest contracts to build infrastructure was awarded at the Etosha National Park to the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET), according to Akwenye.
A total of 98 houses were built for park staff and land was serviced for another 54 houses at Galton Gate and Ombika/Anderson Gate to the tune of more than US dollars 30 million (about N.dollars 300 million).
A total of 125 contracts, valued at more than US dollars 60 million (about N.dollars 600 million), were awarded between October 2012 and September 2013. These contracts were in respect of goods, services and works done in the education, tourism and agriculture projects as well as for monitoring and evaluation.
According to the report, a total of US dollars 25.0 million (about N.dollars 250 million) remains to be committed and US dollars 119.9 million (about N.dollars 1.9 billion) needs to be spent during the last year of the compact. This results in an average monthly spending of no less than US dollars 10 million (about N.dollars 100 million) from now until September 2014.
In order to provide for a smooth handover of Compact projects to the Namibian Government, MCA-N has embarked on a detailed Compact Closure Plan (CCP). The CCP seeks to ensure an orderly closure of the MCA-N Compact on 16 September 2014.
It will serve as a guide to MCA-N, together with its Implementing Partners (IPs) and key stakeholders, on their obligations to the programme.