Schlettwein issues warning to SOEs

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Windhoek

The Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein has vowed to put state owned enterprises (SOEs) in the spotlight when they request additional funds from the Ministry of Finance.

Schlettwein said it does not mean if a SOE gets additional funds it will guarantee more output – rather they should use the funds they already have to maximize output.

“We should learn to use the little that is there to increase output because more funds will not guarantee more and better outcomes,” stated Schlettwein when he addressed the finance ministry’s staff meeting in Windhoek on Monday.

Schlettwein was reacting to remarks made by the Chief Executive Officer of AgriBank, Leonard Iipumbu, who said SOEs would require additional funding from the finance ministry to excel their outcomes and performances.

Iipumbu had said “lending money will mean creating more jobs, and creating more jobs will mean creating a better living for the people out there.”

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Ericah Shafudah, said SOEs would soon be obliged to pay dividends to the finance ministry as a way of ploughing back, adding that the measure would soon be implemented.

“SOEs will be required to state how they are going to assist and invest back to the ministry,” Shafudah said.

At the same occasion Schlettwein called on staff members to help him fulfill the key performance indicators (KPIs) he received in his appointment letter from President Hage Geingob.
Schlettwein said in the KPIs ministers are gauged and in his case he was told, ‘As a Minister of Finance you are expected to maintain prudent macro-economic stability and sustained economic growth, implement laws and policies to reform the financial sector to create employment and eradicate poverty.’

Further he was told to consolidate monetary and fiscal policies geared towards promoting investment, broaden Namibians’ participation in the national economy and the public procurement of goods and services.

It was in this vein that Schlettwein called on all staff members to pull together as one, stating, “It is unlikely if not impossible to fulfill my KPIs without the undivided and dedicated support, productivity and ingenuity from all staff members of the ministry.”

He added: “His Excellency reminded us that ministers must accept responsibility for the administration of their ministries and if not satisfied with the administration take corrective action. Further, we are also expected to adopt a more progressive approach in which those who perform must be rewarded and those who don’t perform must bear the consequences of not performing,” he said.

Schlettwein said the ministry plays a pivotal policy and operational role in the economy and the financial system of the country – “thus for that reason we cannot afford delays, errors and oversights”.

“In addition we should require a robust monitoring and evaluation framework so that we can regularly track progress in the implementation and delivery over the short, medium and long term. Without effective planning, monitoring and evaluation it would be impossible to judge if our work is going in the right direction, whether progress or success can be claimed and how our future efforts might be improved,” said the minister.

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