WINDHOEK-- Although the government's wage bill has increased over the years, no civil servant will have to be fired to maintain it, says Bank of Namibia (BoN) Governor Ipumbu Shiimi.

Adressing the media at State House here Tuesday, he added that the wage bill now consumed close to 50 per cent of the government's revenue. "This means less and less money is going to other sectors that are also critical for the well-being and growth of the economy," Shiimi said.

He, however, explained that the wage bill can be reduced without firing people. He suggested that as people resign or retire, their vacant positions should not be filled until an urgent need arises.

The Economic Adviser in the Office of the President, John Steytler, noted that in view of the country's high unemployment rate, the government had no choice but to look at ways of reducing the wage bill without creating unemployment.

"We cannot afford to put more people on the street. We share the concern and advice of the Governor that if we restructure, it should not necessarily be downsizing and should be done in a responsible manner which will not lead to unemployment," Steytler said.

Shiimi noted that Namibia's economic growth in 2018 is slightly better than in 2017, adding that the economy contracted in the previous year, showing negative growth.

"Although growth is not significantly high, the economy is growing, with the assistance of certain sectors," he said, adding that mining, agriculture and tourism are some of the best performing sectors with the potential to grow.