WINDHOEK – Minister of Works and Transport John Mutorwa has pleaded with the finance ministry to release the N$219 million navigational fees collected by the former Directorate of Civil Aviation (DCA) to the newly formed Namibia Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Mutorwa made this plea while motivating his ministry’s 2018/19 budget of N$3.5 billion in parliament recently.
The workaholic minister said given the current economic position, these funds can be utilised for the additional funding required for the completion of the NCAA head office in Windhoek and also the investigation into the furniture tender by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The ACC is currently investigating a case in which two people in 2017 allegedly inflated the furniture budget for the NCAA’s new building.
Earlier this year the ACC reported that it arrested two people, one an official-cum-consultant of the ministry of land reform who approached a furniture retailer for a quotation.
It is alleged that after receiving a quotation of more than N$4 million, the consultant allegedly requested an inflated quotation of almost N$8 million.
The consultant purportedly also told the furniture company that the successful company would purchase the furniture from them and he and a businessman would share over N$3 million with the furniture retailer. Furthermore, speaking on the achievements by the DCA, now NCAA, Mutorwa told legislators that last year the NCAA heavily invested in the development and upskilling of Namibians to international level.
Also, he said, during the same period the ministry completed the construction of the air traffic control tower at Ondangwa Airport. Another achievement, Mutorwa said, is the extension of the very high frequency radio coverage for air traffic control and the replacement of old radios and technology with modern equipment, which is currently being tested and will be completely transitioned the next financial year.
He said completion of the construction of the new head office of the NCAA would also go down as an achievement. He said the retention fees are expected to be paid during this financial year.
Some of the challenges, Mutorwa said, are the skills shortages within Namibia as well as the training costs associated with upskilling staff to the internally required level.
Thus, Mutorwa requested an amount of close to N$476 million for the approval of lawmakers to be allocated to civil aviation air navigation services.