Oshakati-The newly-appointed chief regional officer of Ohangwena Regional Council said he plans to have all the financial records of the reginal council updated.
During an interview at the Oshana Regional Council offices, Fillipus Shilongo said during his tenure he will collaborate with other key stakeholders such as the National Planning Commission (NPC) and line ministries to bring about change and ensure that all the financial statements of the council are improved as required by the auditor general.
While attending the signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding between the Provincial Government of Limpopo and Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati and Oshikoto regions, Shilongo told the media that all along he has been focused on bringing about development in the region together with the council and other staff members.
He said many outstanding decisions and projects approved by council have not been implemented to date.
Shilongo also admitted the Ohangwena Regional Council’s books have not been audited for the past four financial years.
According to him, financial books of 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017 and 217-2018 are yet to be audited by the auditor general.
The books of Ohangwena Regional Council came under the spotlight when the auditor general raised the alarm that the regional council has been budgeting without accounting for its spending. It has also not produced financial statements on time for the last three years.
Financial statements dating back to 2006 are still outstanding.
Two weeks ago, New Era quoted the chairman of the National Council Public Accounts Committee Peter Kazongominja who questioned Shilongo and his colleagues.
“The money you are dealing with is public money and it shows that nobody knows whether the money spent over the previous years was rightly or wrongly used,” he had said.
Shilongo maintains the priority is to ensure they bring the region on par with government ministries and other agencies.
Another priority is to capacitate his team to be able to respond to and carry out the mandate of the council.
Before he was elevated to the council’ top job, Shilongo served as the director of planning for the same regional council since 2008. Controversies sparked prior to his appointment as a CRO, causing the council to re-interview all candidates, Shilongo included.
He also worked on the Regional Development Plan of Ohangwena Region.
He has been acting CRO ever since the former occupant Daniel Kashikola was appointed as deputy minister of safety and security in March 2015 by President Hage Geingob.