Give Locals Jobs, Tenders – NCCI

The chairman of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) in the north Tomas Iindji has implored parliamentarians to legislate laws that will stimulate business and give jobs to Namibians.

While addressing a media conference this week in Ongwediva, Iindji said people elected as parliamentarians should implement as a matter of urgency a law that would prevent the use of expatriates where local capacity exists.

Penalties for businesses violating such laws should also be spelt out.

The unnecessary contracting of foreign nationals is totally against the “growth at home” motto, which was conceived by government with a view to realise economic growth that is home-driven, using local resources or skills, according to Iindji.

Iindji pointed out the mass housing programme as one of government’s projects that should be reserved for locals at all levels. He thus urged Namibia Housing Enterprise (NHE) to ensure all tenders are awarded to local people and that no foreign company should participate in the second phase.

“We are not saying that we are against foreigners, but do we really need expatriates to build houses? Why would a foreigner come here and push a wheelbarrow? All we are saying is that as much as we need the expatriates, Namibians’ interests must be considered first,” said Indjii.

“The chamber does not dispute the fact that major achievements have been recorded in the areas of education and infrastructure development roads, telecommunications, health, etcetera. These developments must however allow for full and parallel participation of Namibians on the road to total economic freedom. It is difficult to defend and justify any excuses for actions taken to allow foreign national companies to work on a mass housing project, while qualified Namibians are available,” he said.

“Apart from the use of foreign nationals contracted in sensitive professions the country’s natural resource treasures are at risk of exploitation at the expense of qualified Namibians as well,” he stated.

He said land accessibility, discrepancies in the procurement system of government and the Investment Act are among other challenges that face Namibians and their businesses.

He thus urged incoming parliamentarians to focus their efforts on reviewing and amending the Investment Act, the Land Act, andfinalization of the Procurement Bill, if Vision 2030 is to be realised.

“As we congratulate the President-Elect Dr Hage Geingob, for having won overwhelming the 2014 presidential election, we express hope that his tested leadership qualities will navigate the national agenda towards solving the challenge of socio-economic inequalities,” stressed Iindji.

Source : New Era