THE National Petroleum Cooperation of Namibia, (NAMCOR) inaugurated the NAMCOR Hosea Kutako International Airport Service Station, leading the way for the first truly Namibian owned service station.
The Minister of Mines and Energy, Tom Alweendo said during the opening ceremony that the development not only provides Namibian motorists a wider choice of fuel outlets to purchase from, but also provides business opportunities to Namibians.
While NAMCOR invested in the construction of the site, the site will be operated by Namibian entrepreneurs.
Alweendo stated that NAMCOR’s retail agenda looks at establishing a sufficient network of profitable sites, that will enable it to later serve remote areas such as regional capitals and rural areas that do not have access to these services.
“As the shareholder representative, we expect commercially classified state owned enterprises such as NAMCOR to deliver shareholder value at all times. And this has been a challenge to a number of SOEs. I am confident that the steps NAMCOR has taken towards becoming a profitable SOE will bear fruits.” Alwendo said.
He further informed that currently SOEs have assets of more than N$62 billion and an annual income of more than N$23 billion.
Alweendo however stated that these institutions with imbued with so many billions of dollars are faced with challenges of poor governance.
“There is no doubt that the Board of directors is fully responsible for the oversight role of the company. In other words it is the board that is responsible for the performance of any company. In fulfilling its responsibility, the Board needs to put in place measures to monitor and control management in order to strengthen the governance in the company.” Alweendo elaborated.
He stated that there appears to be a crisis of confidence when it comes to governance in some of our SOEs.
“More often than not one reads about some malfeasance in some of our SOEs. The more this happens the more we run the risk of the public losing confidence in the integrity of our SOEs. It is therefore incumbent upon our Boards and Management of SOEs to do everything in their power to demonstrate a strong commitment to the enforcement of clear and firm standards of corporate governance,” Alweendo said.
He stated that corporate governance must require the Board of directors and Management to execute their responsibilities in the best interest of the shareholder and to act with both competence and integrity.
Alweendo advised that it is therefore important that, going forward, the shareholder ensures that only people who are knowledgeable about the nature of the business of a particular company and those with integrity are considered for appointment as directors on the Board of SOEs.
“It is incumbent on all of us to ensure that we continue to improve the effectiveness with which we manage State companies. In the end it is the ethical behavior and sound business practices that will matter most in the promotion of good corporate governance. If we do that, we would have heeded the call of our President, Dr. Hage G Geingob, who on numerous occasions has called upon all those in leadership positions to demonstrate transparency and accountability in all what we do in order to create trust with the public.” Alweendo concluded.