THE Namibia Airports Company has undertaken to use Namibian companies for contractual work on its airports and other functions but warned it will not compromise on competence.

The board chairperson of the Namibia Airports Company (NAC), Leake Hangala, revealed this at a media briefing at the Hosea Kutako International Airport on Tuesday.

Giving an update on progress made so far at the airports company since he took over as a board chairperson, Hangala said: “We have decided that we will employ Namibian companies whenever possible. On this project (airport extension), we contracted just Namibian companies and we do not expect them to perform below standard,” said Hangala.

He said Namibian contractors and entrepreneurs would always get first preference provided they stick to the stipulated quality and standards, budget and timeous delivery. “Let us tell the world that we, Namibians, can do it. Moreover, NAC will first look at Namibian contractors, not because they are Namibians but because they can deliver,” said Hangala.

He also warned potential contractors that NAC would not tolerate any substandard work. He added that they would require timeliness in completing projects, meeting the quality expectancy of NAC and completing the work within the budget.

Hangala further warned that “for contractors out there who expect that NAC will just give a job and do whatever they want, their days are over”.

VALUE AND DIVIDENDS

On paying back to the shareholder (government) and growing investment, Hangala explained that NAC is working hard to ensure it fulfils its mandate and contribute to the economic growth through aviation and promote Namibia as the most important form of a dividend.

He added that NAC is also looking to the future when it can translate its shareholder investment into cash. However, Hangala was not specific as to when this could be achieved, but indicated that the company is committed to fulfilling that.

The government recently asked its commercial public enterprises to pay special dividends and so far, only Namibian Post and Telecom Holdings came through while NamPower and Namdia paid normal dividends.

NAC’s chief executive officer, Bisey /Uirab, said there is a perception that when a parastatal pays dividends to the government it has done well. He, however, said the public must look beyond cash dividends and consider economic value created.

“We must look at economic value created by public enterprises to the Namibian economy. Yes, it is important to pay millions in dividends to the government, but it is more crucial to have an efficiently operated institution that brings more business opportunities to Namibia,” said /Uirab.

He explained further that it is important to have an efficiently operated company that attracts foreign direct investment so that those investments can multiply more than the dividends that could have been paid to the government.

/Uirab added that when evaluating the performance of parastatals like NAC, one should not narrowly just look at the dividend declared to the government, but also evaluate if the entity has met the mandate it was created for and added value to the economy. He also indicated that NAC does not go to the government for a bailout but rather for capital injection for capital projects from its main shareholder, which is normal practice.

“In the case of NAC, it does not run to the government for a bailout. It did not run to government to ask for money to pay for salaries, staff medical aid or for any operational expenditure,” /Uirab explained.

He said NAC has been self-sustaining, as it only engaged the government as a shareholder to invest in capital projects. NAC is upgrading the Hosea Kutako International Airport to the tune of N$250 million, where government pumped in N$155 million and NAC invested N$95 million

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