OSHAKATI – Potential applicants for fishing rights in Oshana Region, who attended the information sharing session at Oshakati, complained against the stringent application requirements and short timeframe before the deadline of July 31.
“The process is cumbersome, compared to the little time given to fulfil the requirements outlined in the application form,” a man who identified himself as Thomas related yesterday after the fully packed information sharing meeting at the Oshana Regional Council.
At the information session, an official from the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resource, Elizabeth Ndivayele warned the public against falling prey to con artists claiming to assist the public in acquiring fishing rights.
Ndivayele said the ministry is not charging fees to disseminate information.
“We are only disseminating information through public consultations, but we are not assisting the public to fill in forms,” Ndivayele said.
In addition to the period, the potential applicants also told New Era that they are not happy with the decision not to award fishing rights to Closed Corporations, but only to Proprietary Limited registered companies, saying the process would exclude many members of the public.
The new process would only grant fishing rights to companies registered as Proprietary Limited registered companies, and not to those registered as Closed Corporation, to allow for full transparency in terms of financial and corporation reporting, and for the government to be able to hold fishing rights holders accountable, fisheries minister Bernard Esau had previously said.
Officials from the fisheries ministry advised those who have registered Closed Corporation, to form joint ventures and partnerships through companies registered as Proprietary Limited. Also speaking at the consultation session, the Governor of Oshana Clemens Kashuupulwa appealed the ministry to ensure that the application and evaluation for 2018 is carried out in a fair and transparent manner, where no Namibian is excluded.
Kashuupulwa also expressed content that the government has made provisions for fishing rights to expire after years of being issued.
“Expiry of fishing rights, and the public call that follows such expiry allows the government to affirm the fact that our fisheries belongs to all Namibians and demonstrate that there is a time when all Namibians can apply and compete fairly for fishing rights,” said Kashuupulwa.
He further said the information sharing session will empower Namibians, to exercise their democratic rights to participate in the application process alongside other Namibians.