NCCI Pleads for Local Procurement Policy Support

The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) yesterday expressed concern over both government and private companies that procure goods from outside the country that are available locally. “If media reports are anything to go by, the policy of procuring from local suppliers as far as possible seems to be simply a policy spoken about in political statements, but with little or no consequences for those found to be violating such policy,” said NCCI president, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun.

She added that this goes “against the spirit” of supporting local enterprises in order to achieve economic growth to sufficiently address poverty and unemployment. Namundjebo-Tilahun’s statement comes in the wake of revelations that the Ministry of Health and Social Services intended to purchase new medical staff uniforms from China.

Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr Richard Kamwi, has since reneged on the plan following widespread criticism from many sectors of business and society, including Cabinet ministers and the Namibia Manufacturing Association (NMA). NMA chairman Brian Black said the importation of medical uniforms is “shameful and ludicrous.” In a recent statement, Kamwi said: “It is most unfortunate that this matter has been taken out of proportion and the public has been given a negative impression, as if the ministry is anti-job creation.”

Speaking to the media at the NCCI headquarters in Windhoek yesterday, Namundjebo-Tilahun remarked that the chamber is determined to work with government to address issues which are seen as obstacles to the growth of enterprises. “Our engagement with government cannot just be limited to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which I must say has been a g and reliable partner of the private sector over the years. We would like to see our engagement elevated to the entire government, because the issues which we should be discussing are affecting government offices, ministries and agencies beyond the Ministry of Trade and Industry,” added Namundjebo-Tilahun.

The NCCI president went on to say that some of the chamber’s key strategic objectives within the next two to three years is to work with government and other stakeholders to make Namibia the number one country to do business with in Africa and to improve Namibia’s competitive ranking in the World Economic Forum’s competitive index. “Our recent survey within the private sector has clearly shown that the private sector is very unhappy about the fact that we have been falling in many international rankings and we are determined to have this situation changed fast,” said Namundjebo-Tilahun.

Source : New Era