Nudo Blames Mass Housing Woes On Tendering Process

Nudo says the tendering process used by the National Housing Enterprise (NHE) to select contractors for the N$45 billion mass housing programme is the reason why there are so many problems marring the successful implementation of the project.

The NHE carried out the contracting process using its own internal tender processes to select contractors, instead of involving the national tender board – considering the magnitude of the programme. The tender committee comprises of senior staff members of the NHE. “The way the tenders were awarded is the reason why we are sitting with these problems of implementation and fund availability. Some companies were even awarded tenders before they were formed and government was not involved in the selection process,” the party’s deputy Secretary General Vetaruhe Kandorozu told New Era on Wednesday this week. The ruckus surrounding the mass housing project started when the NHE admitted that it relaxed some of the tender requirements to accommodate local companies that did not meet the requirements, as well as claims that some companies were only formed after the tendering process had closed – yet they managed to be contracted.

The Chief Executive Officer of the NHE, Vinson Hailulu, earlier this year said the relaxation of the requirements was done to avoid excluding local companies and that the awarding of tenders was done using NHE tendering procedures, because it was being rushed by government to implement the project. The NHE also at the time denied that any of the companies were awarded tenders without being registered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry. “Some local companies have not met the requirements, but one has to be practical when doing the contracting, otherwise you might end up leaving out all companies. Even if they did not build 250 houses before, one has to consider their capacity,” Hailulu said at the time.

Nudo wants the entire process to be halted and the entire tendering and selection process to be restarted. “But this time the national tender board must be placed in charge, because the NHE was allocating tenders dubiously. Government must not release any money, NHE must go ahead and see how it will pay those who have started building,” said Kandorozu. The NHE in the past said those of its projects that were running prior to the mass housing programme, were incorporated into the programme, this also includes its waiting list which currently accommodates 17 000 people waiting to own a house. A local daily this week reported that Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila is said to have stated that money to fund the programme will only be released once the tendering process has gone through the national tender board. Kandorozu queried why the government was not part of the tender committee if it is the one footing the bill.

Source : New Era