Pohamba’s Last State of Nation – Bemoans Poor Service

In his last State of the Nation Address President Hifikepunye Pohamba lamented poor service delivery and the absence of competent civil servants. “The culture of effective and efficient service delivery must, therefore, permeate the whole system. That is what the public expects at all times in its interactions with government,” Pohamba said, adding that without a competent, professional and efficient civil service to drive the execution of policies and programmes “government will not be able to deliver”.

The president asked that civil servants who do not carry out their duties or comply with public service rules be dealt with sternly. In the meantime, the Office of the Prime Minister would this financial year “develop a recruitment and retention policy for the public service”, he said. The policy is aimed at tackling the challenges related to recruitment and retention of scarce and specialised skills in the civil service. Pohamba also expressed concern about the electricity situation in the country, and implored stakeholders in the electricity industry to waste no time in implementing local projects that would ensure security of electricity supply for the country.

South Africa’s national power utility, Eskom, which supplies Namibia with the bulk of its electricity, recently announced that electricity available for export would be reduced significantly.

“As our population grows and industries expand, the demand for electricity grows. This poses a major challenge for our country due to inadequate local power generation capacity,” said the president, expressing fear that Eskom’s latest move to reduce electricity exports would have a direct negative impact on power supply in Namibia.

“In order to ensure continuous supply of electricity for the country, NamPower has launched the Short Term Critical Supply Project, covering the period 2012 to 2016,” he said. Progress has also been made by both upstream and downstream developers of the Kudu gas-to-power project which includes the signing of a power off-take and equity participation agreement between NamPower and the Copperbelt Energy Company of Zambia.

On education, the president said early childhood development and learning should be prioritised. “We will continue to plan and make necessary investments in order to modernize the sector, and make it more responsive to the socio-economic and development needs of our country,” he said.

Tertiary level enrolment in the country now stands at 26 000 at public institutions, but there has not been significant improvement in the number of vocational students, despite increased allocation of resources, said the president.

Source : New Era