Lawmaker laments poverty amidst plenty

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WINDHOEK – Poverty in Namibia is man-made and there is no reason why a country endowed with so much natural resources should be poor.

This sentiment was expressed on Tuesday by Rally for Democracy and Progress (RDP) MP Mike Kavekotora, when he presented his maiden speech in the debate on the national budget in the National Assembly.

“Poverty is man-made and there is no reason why a country endowed with natural resources is trailing behind some countries with little or no natural resources. There is no justification at all that 25 years after independence we have a considerable number of our fellow Namibians going to bed hungry,” Kavekotora said.

He blamed the situation on the Swapo government and the way resources are allocated in the country.

He also called on the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaaningwa, to restructure, redefine and re-engineer the multi-billion-dollar national mass housing development programme.

“The project was not well planned and does not feature anywhere in the NDPs. It was given to an implementing agency without probing the capacity of the implementing agency,” he said.

Kavekotora also expressed concern whether the poor will benefit from mass housing.

Maximise mining revenue

Meanwhile, Swanu’s parliamentarian Usutuaije Maamberua wants government to conduct a study to determine the optimal revenue the country’s mining sector should contribute to the state purse.

Economic experts have over the years alerted government to the fact it is losing millions, if not billions, from its mining sector because of inadequate regulatory measures and laws.Maamberua also wants the state to investigate the alleged malpractices by private companies to estimate the actual revenue accrued from the mining sector as well as the illegal ways in which profits are being repatriated from Namibia.

He proposed the study be premised on transfer pricing, royalty payments and leading and lagging payments, financing structures, counter or barter trade, parallel inter-company loans and re-invoicing centres.He said the study should probe the concept of re-invoicing centres that act as invoicing intermediaries between two parties, which normally exist in countries with low capital control points.

In this scenario, said Maamberua: “Non-repatriable cash flows can be converted into repatriable cash flows when the payment to the parent company is routed through them.”

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