Implementation status as low as 30%
THE Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission (NPC), Obeth Kandjoze, has cut into the virtual standstill of most development projects throughout the country, stating that some of these projects disappear from the development budget after being pitched to his ministry.
Kandjoze, during his familiarisation visit to the Omaheke Region interrogated the poor implementation of capital projects and pointed out that some capital projects had an implementation status as low as 30% by the mid-year budget review held in August last year.
“This meant that projects were not implemented fast enough. What is the cause of this?” he questioned.
He further said government ministries, offices and agencies (OMAs) submit project identification forms to NPC, but such “projects disappear from the development budget,” attributing this to a possible communication breakdown between NPC and other OMAs.
Kandjoze embarked on a familiarisation visit to all regions since August last year in order to engage with the regional leadership and capital project implementers on the state of development in the country and determine factors affecting the implementation of capital projects.
Another contributing factor to the poor implementation of capital projects, Kandjoze said, could be the central management of some projects. Some projects are decided upon by central government without any involvement of Regional Councils or regional offices, he said.
This is further fueled by a lack of coordination between the local leadership and central government in the implementation of the projects.
He further said contractors for capital projects are also culprits of poor implementation of projects.
“Two contractors would construct the same structures but one structure did not last long,” he said, adding that this was due to substandard work by the contractor.
He equated this scenario to theft and fraud.
Kandjoze also blamed OMAs who allow such substandard work by contractors for mismanagement of funds.
“Green schemes are supposed to be producing food for local consumption, but machinery and equipment are not functioning. What are the impediments?” he questioned.
He further said moving of funds from one project (due to non-implementation) to another should take a back step.
Kandjoze called for strengthening of coordination between Regional Councils and NPC as both parties have divine linkages and their governing Acts of Parliament cannot be read independently.
In his statement, the Governor of Omaheke Region, Festus Ueitele, said the decentralisation process is taking too long.
“The region struggles to construct infrastructure due to insufficient resources, yet the leadership is expected to account for lack of development. We want to deliver, but there is so much bureaucracy,” he added.
Ueitele cited the lack of mass housing in the region as an example. He said the regional leadership consulted the Gobabis Municipality to give land to private developers, an activity which was later halted due to a loan from the Chinese government from which the Municipality was supposed to benefit.
The loan was to be used to construct houses in Gobabis. He was, however, later informed the construction of these house was halted for the loan terms to be renegotiated between the Namibian and Chinese governments.
“How do we expect them [Gobabis Municipality] to account?” Ueitele questioned.