Failure to implement projects irks Kandjoze

GOBABIS � The Minister of Economic Planning and Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NCP), Obeth Kandjoze, said it is devastating that a number of development projects have failed to take off, years after they were launched. Kandjoze was in the Omaheke Region last week to engage with the regional leadership and capital project implementers on the state of development in the region as part of the country assesment and determine factors affecting the implementation of capital projects.

He pointed out that some capital projects had an implementation status as little as 30 per cent by the mid-year budget review held in August last year. This meant that projects were not implemented fast enough. What is the cause of this? he questioned.

He further said government offices, ministries and agencies (OMAs) submit project identification forms to NPC, but such projects disappear from the development budget, attributing this to a possible communication breakdown between NPC and other OMAs.

Another contributing factor to the poor implementation of capital projects, Kandjoze said, could be the central management of some projects. Some projects are decided upon by central government without any involvement of regional councils or regional offices, he said. This is further fuelled by a lack of coordination between the local leadership and central government in the implementation of the projects.

Contractors for capital projects are also culprits of poor implementation. Two contractors would construct the same structures but one structure did not last long, he said, adding that this was due to substandard work by the contractor. He equated this scenario to theft and fraud. He also blamed OMAs that allow such substandard work by contractors for mismanagement of funds.

Green schemes are supposed to be producing food for local consumption, but machinery and equipment are not functioning. What are the impediments?

He further said virementation of funds from one project (due to non-implementation) to another should take a back step.

Kandjoze called for strengthening of coordination between regional councils and the NPC as their governing acts of parliament cannot be read independently.

Speaking at the same occasion Omaheke Governor Festus Ueitele said the decentralisation process is taking too long. The region struggles to construct infrastructure due to insufficient resources, yet the leadership is expected to account for lack of development, he said. We want to deliver, but there is so much bureaucracy, he added.

Ueitele cited the lack of mass housing in the region as an example. He said the regional leadership consulted the Gobabis municipality to give land to private developers, the latter activity being later halted after a loan from the Chinese government from which the municipality was supposed to benefit.

The loan was to be used to construct houses in Gobabis. He was, however, later informed the construction of these house was halted for the loan terms to be renegotiated between the Namibian and Chinese governments. How do we expect them [Gobabis municipality] to account? Ueitele questioned.

Kandjoze was impressed with the construction of the regional government office park underway in Gobabis and the sewer reticulation system at Goeiehoop Primary School at Epukiro. Kandjoze also had a look at flushing toilets recently constructed at Ongulumbashe township and Kanaan informal settlement in Gobabis.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia