Cabinet on Tuesday approved the establishment of the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA), which will incorporate the Namibia Development Corporation (NDC) and the Offshore Development Company (ODC).
NIDA has already been allocated initial capitalization of N$50 million in the 2015/2016 budget of the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprise Development.
After the submission for the establishment of NIDA by the Minister of Industrialisation, Trade and Small and Medium Enterprise Development, Immanuel Ngatjizeko, Cabinet authorized the ministry’s acquisition of the last private sector shareholding, held by businessman Peter Burmeister, of 1.1525 percent in ODC for a nominal amount of N$500 000.
This acquisition will facilitate the incorporation of ODC into NIDA.
Should Burmeister refuse to sell his shares, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Tjekero Tweya, during a discussion on the subject, said: “We are in a democratic state, we will negotiate. He is a minority shareholder and there are business principles that should be upheld. There is no way the minority will dictate the majority and the market value will determine the price of his shares.”
While Cabinet has approved NIDA’s establishment, the Bill for its establishment has now been referred to the Cabinet Committee on Legislation (CCL) for further scrutiny before it is tabled in the National Assembly. Cabinet has also directed Minister Ngatjizeko to consult the minister of public enterprises and the attorney general before commencing with the transitional and interim arrangements toward NIDA’s full operationalisation.
Tweya yesterday said part of the reason to merge the two entities is because of a duplication of functions and the cost implications of running both companies concurrently. “The ODC and NDC process started way back, there is duplication of functions and the cost is just too much,” he said.
Tweya said the idea to merge the two started way back when incumbent President Dr Hage Geingob served as Minister of Trade and Industry.
“He [Geingob] felt there is no need to maintain both and that they are too expensive to maintain. The logical thing is to merge them so that they deal with implementation of government projects in terms of infrastructure development and to start promoting industrialization.”
Both ODC and NDC are currently led by acting managing directors, therefore Tweya sees no problem when it comes to merging the two into NIDA and said the process was long overdue.
“Others have sold their shares. We deliberately did not want to confirm permanent appointments of MDs for the two entities…It is not about securing jobs but rather realignment of functions. Individuals [in ODC and NDC] have different areas of expertise and this expertise will still be required in the new entity. They will be absorbed within new entities or other entities in the system,” he said.