Namibia's public enterprises asset value at N$119 billion

Namibia's 81 public enterprises have an asset value of N$119 billion and liabilities amounting to N$60 billion, giving a net portfolio value of N$50 billion, an official has said.

Minister of Finance and Public Enterprises Iipumbu Shiimi said the entities have an employment base of 25,000, inclusive of commercial and non-commercial ones.

"Public enterprises constitute a key part of our national life and our national assets. They are central to our developmental and economic agenda. Hence, reform of public enterprises is part of a broader agenda of transformation in our country," he said.

He made these remarks at the launch of the first regional consultations on the Ownership Policy of Public Enterprises in Windhoek. The launch is being done in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

"Taking into consideration the recommendations by the High-Level Panel on the Namibian Economy (HLPNE) as adopted by Cabinet, it is more than critical to expedite the implementation of this Policy,” he said.

“It’s known the performance of a number of our public enterprises is mediocre; service delivery is ineffective and that affects our national competitiveness negatively whilst being an enormous drain on the Fiscus at a time when the country is experiencing economic difficulties.

"Consequently, the Ministry of Finance and Public Enterprises, in executing its vision to position public enterprises as key contributors towards sustainable development of Namibia, developed the PEOP as part of its transformation agenda," he added. 

Shiimi said the purpose of state ownership of public enterprises is to maximise value for society through an efficient allocation of resources.

He noted that the policy provides the general public and private sector with a clear understanding of the State’s overall objectives and priorities as a shareholder of public enterprises.

"The ownership policy aims to clarify the role of the State and professionalise its role as a shareholder. There is a need for public enterprises to be effective and efficient. Thus, control and ownership of these public enterprises must be regulated, guided, and implemented to the fullest extent within the rule of law and policy," the Minister explained.

"It is further intended to provide clarity on why, when, and how the State should own public enterprises and to further outline measures to ensure sound financial management and sustainability, including measures to curtail any forms of corruption and other irregularities. In addition, the policy seeks to outline the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors and management."

Shiimi said it is therefore necessary to conduct extensive consultations with stakeholders for an inclusive reform using evidence.

He also said the policy is not permanent in its current form, but dynamic and needs to be revised every three years to respond to Namibian circumstances while drawing from best practices.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 31 October 2023 18:16

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