Govt to pay contractors over N$3 billion

Windhoek-Constructors can breathe a sigh of relief as all unpaid government invoices, amounting to more than N$3 billion will be settled by the end of August.

President Hage Geingob made the announcement at a media briefing at State House yesterday, where he said government deeply regrets the accumulation of unsettled invoices that came about because of weak revenue collection during the economic slowdown.

We have realised that one key factor fueling discontent and opinion is the occurrence of unsettled invoices. We deeply regret the accumulation of unsettled invoices that came about because of weak revenue collection due to the economic downturn, Geingob said.

Giving further assurance to the business sector, Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein said government has budgeted N$1.7 billion for this financial year to cover the cost of outstanding invoices incurred during the last financial year.

Money is available and is being spent for that purpose, he said, adding that the institutions to be paid include those in construction, water and agriculture.

Geingob in turn said government understands the serious impact the outstanding invoices have had on business operations of especially small and medium sized enterprises.

Further, the president indicated that government has significantly reduced the travel and subsistence allowance budget. In my own office, I have travelled only twice this year to two other African countries and no travel has been undertaken outside Africa, he noted.

President Geingob said the government remains fully committed to the principles of transparency and accountability in public affairs.

Many of you may be aware that one of my personal mantras is that 'transparency plus accountability equals trust'. I have stated on previous occasions that we are all observing an increased level of distrust towards political leaders, both locally and globally. The only sure way to restore trust is, therefore, to remain transparent and to be accountable.

Source: New Era Newspaper Namibia