Schlettwein Says Staff Should Be Aware of Economic Uncertainties

THE minister of finance Calle Schlettwein urged his ministry’s staff to be on the alert against possible economic uncertainties around the world that may hamper progress.

Schlettwein made the statement during his ministry’s first staff meeting held at the NamPower Convention Centre on Monday.

Talking to them about his expectations, Schlettwein said the world as a whole has become a less certain environment to live in.

He said such situation is witnessed the world over from Europe and Asia to Africa, where conflicts and economic uncertainties often occur.

“This will require the ministry to have the necessary skills, resources and agility to analyse the economic and political environment, and to chart a sustainable path forward in these uncertain times,” Schlettwein told members of his ministry.

Namibia as a small economy, he explained, runs the risk of often becoming unsustainable because of happenings beyond the country’s control.

There is no doubt, he added, that the years ahead will pose major challenges both globally and domestically.

“Look at the financial crisis. It was started by an unsustainable lending to house owners that kick-started a financial crisis that send the Namibian economy almost into a recession,” he said.

Government, he further explained, had to spend significant amounts of money to buffer that crisis, which it could have used otherwise and with better impact for poverty alleviation.

The minister therefore maintained that the country’s alertness to what happen in the outside world must be better captured.

“We must have better ability to foresee these things and enter into activities that at least mitigate those uncertainties that are coming from elsewhere.

On the way forward, Schlettwein says he expects management to fine-tune the ministry’s strategic plan for 2014-15 to 2016-17 to fully reflect the key performance indicators, the principles and the organisational focus areas.

The minister also mentioned how he requires a robust monitoring and evaluation framework in order to regularly track the progress in implementation and delivery over the short, medium and long term.

“Without effective planning, monitoring and evaluation, it would be impossible to judge if our work is going in the right direction, whether progress and success can be claimed and how future efforts might be improved,” he noted.

Schlettwein also underscored the need to uphold better management of public finances.

“I wish to reiterate that we must carefully scrutinise the expenditure before we decide to incur it. Excessive travelling – abroad or domestic – should be limited to essential trips, and overtime should also be controlled to critical circumstances,” he said.


Source : The Namibian