Sunday 20 June 2021
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NAC board, Exco in turbulent stand-off

The Namibian Airports Company’s (NAC) Board of Directors led by the Chairperson Rodgers Kauta is entangled in a serious tug of war with the management of the company following their (Board) proposition to have the company’s operational budget slashed by 20 percent before approval, The Patriot can reveal.
The NAC Board of Directors is composed by Kauta, Beverly Gawanas-Vugs, Rudolph Rittmann, Lesenda Mohamed and Ipupa Kasheeta.
Heated email exchanges, seen by this publication, between the Board Chairperson and the Chief Executive Tamer El-Kallawi, show that the board is refusing to approve the proposed operational budget or submit it to the line minister before a severe cut on operational cost is implemented.
The Board Chairperson in the e-mail trail wrote to El-Kallawi categorically stipulating the need to revise the budget and have it trimmed by 20 percent and also halt any sort of spending which they argue should not be executed without their approval. In the same e-mail thread, one of the Directors Rudolph Ritman also confirms his support for the Board Chairperson’s call for a budget cut although El-Kallawi raises concern, saying the budget could curtail the company’s operations.
The move allegedly threatens the company’s turnaround strategy which was set out in 2014 with the aim of achieving safety and security at all Airports, rehabilitating six Airports country wide, keeping periodic maintenance of the Airport infrastructure country wide, ensure customer satisfaction and also morale boosting staff confidence.
The Patriot also independently confirmed that the management of the company submitted a budget proposal to the Board in November last year for presentation to the line minister and eventually tabling Cabinet for approval but the board is not keen to move before their demands are met.
Sources privy to NAC operations said the Board instituted a moratorium on spending across the board to have their demands for a severely adjusted expenditure plan implemented. So dire is the situation at the Airports company that the company was facing a rather testing situation this week to deal with the pending salary bill while a meeting engagement was scheduled with the Board.
The tug of war over the operational budget has now infuriated the company’s Chief Executive Officer Tamer El Kallawi who is looking at the issue as a direct interference on day to day operations of the company by the recently elected board.
NAC is already grappling with cash flow problems, seeing that the national airliner, Air Namibia, is struggling to pay landing fees at the country’s airports in time. NAC according to, financial information at hand, saw its operational loss increase by 231 percent. The operational loss in real terms moved from N$8 million to N$28 million in the year ending 2015. However the company’s solace is in the reality that their total assets grew from N$2,183,058,054 to N$2, 742,074,131 in the same period under review.
NAC however recorded a seven percent increase on targeted revenue in the financial year 2014/2015 which is the latest available information. The increase in real terms translates to the company achieving N$233 million in revenue inflows as compared to a target of N$217 million.
Upon enquiry Minister of Public Enterprises Leon Jooste said the challenges between the board and management in relation to their expenditure and the after effects have not reached his office. “The NAC issues have not yet been brought to my attention at all,” Jooste said in reference to the issue. Jooste could also not give any indications as to how much the Airports Company requested from the Government.
The Company’s CEO did not give his comment although questions were sent to him for comment.
NAC has in the recent past faced its fair share so controversies following a botched planned tender to upgrade the Hosea Kutako International Airport before the court dismissed the granting of the tender.
The national airliner owes the Namibian Airport Company(NAC) over N$170 million in airport fees.
NAC, which owns and manages eight airports in the country, generates most of its revenue from Air Namibia’s airport usage.
Information at hand also confirm that the national airliner Air Namibia has been struggling to pay their dues to the Airports Company although engagements between the two companies have been constant. This has also created a serious challenge of the company’s cashflow. NAC’s leadership is currently at loggerheads over budget issues which has pitted the board against the company’s management.
The relationship between NAC and Air Namibia has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years-albeit mostly for the wrong reasons.
A NAC official this week said the national airline owes NAC millions for ground handling, rental, passenger and landing fee agreement.
Air Namibia’s spokesperson Paul Nakawa said the two SOEs are in constant communication regarding the matter and vowed that Air Namibia will continue honouring its repayment agreement until the arrears are cleared.
“It doesn’t surprise us that Air Namibia owes NAC money, we are aware of that and we have been communicating with NAC in this regards and we will continue doing so. We have made arrangements how best we continue paying as a way of honoring services as rendered to us by our sister company. Our business relationship is deep, lasting and sincere.
There shouldn’t be turf war between our companies, after all we are not quiet about it. We will keep our doors open for NAC to talk to us instead of resorting to media as we are one,” he said.

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