Friday 18 June 2021
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Collapse of corporate governance in Namibia

The collapse of corporate governance in Namibia especially for the State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) is a dire situation that needs us as a country to rethink and analyse our policies as well as the overall running of the state itself to overcome this challenge.
This calls for us as a nation to especially look into the initiatives adopted in order to make parastatals more efficient as they are inadequate and will not realize the intended objectives.
This is unless the various government officials, chief executives, board of directors of our parastatals, are hired on a competitive basis and given more autonomy complimented by the government’s committed not only to designing performance contracts that set realistic standards, but also enforcing them strictly.
This also calls for the need to streamline the multiple regulations that govern parastatals and reform the corporate regulatory framework of the private sector in order to raise standards of corporate governance and, as a result, ensure that the privatized services are managed prudently.
For years now, we have been talked about turning around the country’s SOE’s hence the formation of the Ministry of Public Enterprises with the Minister having called on several occasions for their move to his Ministry for better monitoring, but alas this is still a pipe dream due to the red-tape and corruption.
There is a blue-print to guide these institutions along the prudent corporate governance line but to date we still have management that is reeled in corruption and still go unscathed because of who they know and who they are, yet we have more competent individuals who can better serve the nation in these capacities, who are not being given the chance to do so.
It is not peculiar to Namibia that SOE’s are deeply implicated in most fiscal problems of African governments because of their inefficiency, losses, budgetary burdens, and provision of poor products and services.
But as a country we have had several wakeup calls from the international rating agencies and lending institutions for us to redress the current status quo of our SOE’s has they have had a bearing on our rating and world’s Bureaucracies state rankings.
The full implementation of sound corporate governance policies for Namibia will go a long way in addressing several challenges facing the country as it will in the long term ease the SOE’s burden on the budget and also start generating the much needed foreign currency.
One wonders why did we even form a Ministry that should oversee the running of these SOE’s and yet three (3) years down the line, the same Ministry is still not performing its full mandate, who are we fooling there?
Over the years we have noted that SOE’s achieve some non-commercial objectives, which are used to justify their poor economic performance, and due to the current economic crisis facing the country, the country has now resolved to depend on financial assistance from the Chinese among other lending institutions.
These funds have a long term implication on a nation, as there are no transparent documents for public consumption to show how they are to be repaid and the various terms and conditions attached to them, which is very unfortunate.
To resolve the economic crisis facing the country, we urge the Namibian government to adopt good corporate governance policies and structural adjustment programs, which will reduce government participation in productive activities.
As usual we will agree on these initiative, we have seen it before that some government intervention are deemed necessary for the purposes of guiding appropriate development of the country, which is acceptable, but without a sound corporate governance policy in place, these will still be wasted efforts.
Such interventions are preferred in order to ensure a stable, conducive economic environment for both the public and private sectors’ activities and to provide the much needed administrative and social services for a better Namibia.

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