Kavango West Governor Sirkka Ausiku says due to a lack of senior government officials in the region it is difficult to get information from offices, ministries and government agencies (OMAs) in order for her office to monitor progress on the implementation of government projects.
Ausiku reiterated her view that operational budgets should be allocated per region, the same as the developmental budget is allocated per region. This would make it easier for her to monitor progress, as sometimes officials do not give her progress reports because they are unable to visit projects, as there is no operational budget for subsistence and travel allowances.
“It is still centrally based, hence we don’t know how much was allocated to our region. This has to change. Last year I appealed to the central government to allocate the operational budget per region to enable the regional leadership to follow up on how our funds are being utilised, but nothing has been done to date,” she stressed.
Ausiku made the remarks during her State of the Region Address at Nkurenkuru on Thursday, where she was reporting on the progress of development projects in the region and challenges hindering the implementation of government projects.
Ausiku said as far as the implementation of the development budget is concerned, Kavango West feels let down, as there is only a slight improvement from several OMAs in the implementation of their projects, such as the Ministry of Safety and Security, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MICT) and the Electoral Commission of Namibia (ECN), to mention but a few.
“Many offices, ministries, agencies continue to cite the cumbersome tendering process as the main reason for delays in project implementation, since most OMAs are not decentralised and depend on the National Tender Board,” Ausiku said.
Ausiku further said with the launch of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP) by President Hage Geingob during his State of the Nation Address in April 2016, it will be easier for the region to monitor the implementation of programmes and projects run by OMAs.
The HPP is government’s implementation roadmap to fast-track the attainment of key development goals. “Therefore, I would like to thank our president for this initiative, which outlines our future policies, programmes and projects over the next four years. Let’s all study this important document,” Ausiku said.