As details of the Fishrot corruption scandal unfold, it appears that employment in both the fishing and mining industries could well have been compromised by the activities of certain parties implicated in the scandal.
The development of and the related potential economic benefits of the Sandpiper Project proposed by Namibia Marine Phosphate is a specific case in point.
These are the words of Namibia Marine Phosphate (NMP) management, by Chris Jordinson (CEO) and Mike Woodborne (COO) who said that it is time to stop opposing marine phosphate mining as it has cost Namibians employment opportunities.
In a statement, Jordinson said that it appears the objections to NMP’s Phosphate Project, as proposed and scientifically substantiated by independent environmental assessments, were spearheaded by individuals who are now implicated in, what is perhaps, Namibia’s biggest corruption scandal.
He added that in light of the ongoing scandal, it appears those implicated and opposed to the phosphate cannot be trusted as having acted in Namibia’s best interest.
“These individuals appear to have placed their own interests above that of Namibia’s marine environment, fish resources, employment, and social upliftment. Against this background, it is fair and reasonable for people to question the motivation for the strenuous opposition to phosphate by those individuals implicated in the Fishrot scandal,” Jordinson stated.
NMP’s Sandpiper Project requires capital investment of N$3.2 billion for the development, along with employment of around 450 Namibians (directly and indirectly) in the Erongo region.
In addition, local, regional and national contractors would be required to provide services such as legal, financial, security, transport, catering, mechanical, fuel supply, spares, electrical and port related activities. When operational, the project would generate an estimated N$730m/year toward the Namibian Treasury in the form of taxes (direct and indirect), duties and royalties.
Jordinson further stated that an industry-based Socio-Economic Study (2018) around establishing a phosphate industry in Namibia, circulated within Government, independently demonstrates that the potential economic benefits of establishing a fully-integrated phosphate industry alongside the existing marine diamond mining and fishing industries, if developed back in 2012, could by 2016 have contributed N$14.7 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (9% contribution to GDP) and contributed N$11.3 billion to Gross National Income.
“Having invested over N$750 million in this project since 2008, NMP and its shareholders, in both Namibia and Oman, will continue to have confidence in Namibia’s Legislation & Regulatory System, and the country as an investment destination for mining development. NMP has followed government legislation and regulation and fulfilled its obligations to fully investigate its Project’s environmental impacts; the research culminated in NMP delivering a world-class Environmental Impact Assessment (“EIA”), concluding marine phosphate mining will have no significant impact on the marine environment.” Jordinson said.