The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Tarah Shaanika has applauded the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration for its “good customer service”.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day 2nd Customer Service Management Africa Awards and Conference on Monday, Shaanika was full of praise for the ministry.
He said a few years back public complaints abounded about long queues and delays that characterised the acquisition of national documents such as IDs, passports and birth certificates.
Sharing his personal experience, Shaanika said he went to renew his passport “and it was renewed in record time”.
He implored the rest of the public sector, as well as the private sector, to follow the good standards set by the ministry.
In her address, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, also commended home affairs. She said that last week she went to the ministry to apply for her diplomatic passport and it only took one day, unlike in the past when it took months to get a passport. “The improvement is evident and it should be celebrated,” she said.
Last year in May the ministry embarked on a turnaround strategy with the aim of transforming the ministry into a highly effective organisation with faster turnaround times, effective systems, shorter queues, efficient offices and improved customer service.
Speaking at the same occasion, the Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration, Pendukeni Iivula-Ithana, acknowledged the recognition, saying the succeses were all due to hard work.
“At the beginning of this long journey in transforming the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration I did promise the citizens of our country that we will deliver services better, faster and smarter with the aim of contributing to building a performance-oriented ministry and government as a whole,” she said.
“We are now able to meet the production cycle, allowing area staff and management to have a clear flow of information through the entire operational structure to ensure alignment.”
She said the ministry had to re-look “how best we can provide a unique, high quality customer experience for not only Namibian citizens, but also for everyone who needs our services”.
She said in the last fifteen months the ministry had to learn and appreciate that customer service excellence is an attitude that must be engrained in the personnel of every division.
“We have learned that customer service excellence must be a consistent, premium service at all levels within the ministry,” she said.