Flamboyant EPL Tycoons Come Under Fire

Prime Minister Dr Hage Geingob says exclusive prospecting licences (EPLs) are investments that are deferred gratifications.

He said EPLs are not for immediate satisfaction and those granted EPLs should be educated that they are long-term investments with more value than the meagre N$5 million they are offered for sale to foreigners by locals looking for a quick buck.

According to Geingob, Namibians who have obtained EPLs are unaware of the power and real value EPLs have and are selling them for quick money, thus defeating the purpose of real long-term economic empowerment.

“Instead of using it for economic empowerment and development of their fellow countrymen, Namibians are selling off EPLs to drive around in flashy cars without insurance, consuming alcohol and end up being killed in car crashes,” he said.

The Prime Minster was responding to various questions posed to him by Swapo members that attended a question-and-answer session held shortly after he addressed Swapo supporters at a rally held in Swakopmund on Saturday. Geingob said Namibians need to be made aware they are sitting on unexplored goldmines and that selling should not be the only option.

“It is an investment that you need to be patient with … rather go in partnership, do not sell it. We understand that some are coming from poor backgrounds and will jump at any opportunity they get. Therefore, we must educate them that EPLs have more power than what they imagine. We must teach our people about this investment that is deferred gratification and not for immediate satisfaction,” Geingob said.

He then suggested that talks be hosted with the Ministry of Mines and Energy on the matter to educate the masses.

“They must be made aware that they are empowered and should not jump for quick money. EPLs are investments that you should be patient with. The same is happening with the mining sector. These are capital intensive projects therefore instead of selling, rather become partners,” the minister said.

Source : New Era