By Kuvee Kangueehi
The business community at Omuthiya has urged President Hifikepunye Pohamba to lift the small business guarantee scheme moratorium in order for the business community to start developing the country through various projects.
Addressing the President on Saturday, the Acting Chairman of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) at Omuthiya Joseph Endjala said the local business community commends Government for introducing the small business guarantee scheme but the idea has been curtailed by the moratorium.
Endjala said the local business people also appreciate the role the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) is playing in business development in the country, but said DBN should do more by involving more or all commercial banks in the loan scheme.
The DBN currently only cooperates with Bank Windhoek. Endjala said this has created a monopolistic situation when it comes to financial assistance.
The acting chairman added that obtaining a loan from either commercial banks or DBN is a very difficult and long process as one is required to come up with collateral which is equal to the amount you intend to borrow.
“We feel that this is an unfair practice, which will deter our business people from developing.” Endjala said other measures must be introduced by the banks such as accepting cattle in communal areas as security. The business community at Omuthiya, he said, has been excluded from obtaining tenders because regulations are too strict. This makes it impossible for local business to participate in tendering.
Endjala called for the tendering process to be decentralized and that it should be awarded accordingly in order for previously disadvantaged people to benefit.
The acting chairman further noted that employment in the country has reached a critical point and Government alone cannot solve the problem. He said the business community is ready to work hand in hand with the Government to solve the unemployment situation. But they should be given tenders. That would create jobs for the youth especially high school leavers.
Endjala also informed the President that criminals are roaming in society and must not be allowed to terrorize the community.
“We are ready to work as partners with the Government in order to make our society a crime-free society. We therefore would like the Government to review the bail process for habitual criminals and known robbers.”
He noted that businesses would prosper and flourish if they are protected.
The business community at Omuthiya also pledged support for the Swapo Party and said the community will always stand behind the party as together they will make Swapo victorious in future. Endjala told New Era that businesses at the town and in the region are generally going down because of the influx of Chinese shops and the price of land at the town.
He noted that the local authority claims that it cannot bring down the price of land at the town because it needs the funds to run the town. It can only reduce the price of land if Government increases its subsidy to local authorities.