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Get rid of red tape

Government should introduce more policies to improve the investment climate in the country.
Speaking at the Namibian Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (NCCI) national council meeting held in Walvis Bay last week, Martha Namundjebo-Tilahum, president of the NCCI said government should pay more attention to the improvement of the investment climate in order to increase foreign and domestic investment in the country.
“We need, for example, to look into the manner and pace at which we issue different licenses and permits so as to improve efficiency. We must abolish unnecessary bureaucratic procedures and make public services, in general, more efficient and admirable. The current [state of] service delivery in some public institutions leave so much to be desired and drastic improvements are required,” Namundjebo-Tilahum said.
On the contentious issue of work permits, she said the NCCI is now handling work permit applications on behalf of its members in order to make the process faster.
According to Namundjebo-Tilahum, the current system through which visas and work permits are issued, is not adequate and does not provide permanent solutions.
“We are determined to work with government to ensure that a new system is put in place which will ensure that businesses can have easier access to the use of expatriate skills which may not be available in Namibia,” she said.
The NCCI president further said there is need for greater unity within the private sector so that it has one voice on issues affecting the sector.
“Achieving greater unity within the private sector is very important in the creation of a business and investment environment which can make Namibia a competitive economy,” Namundjebo-Tilahum said.
Also speaking at the meeting, Cleophas Mutjavikua, governor of the Erongo region, said the private sector should play a role in the process of wealth creation by working towards a high performing and productive nation.
Mutjavikua added that business programmes and policies should address issues such as a percentage share specific to tenders won by foreign businesses.
“A very good example is the tender issued for deepening the Walvis Bay harbour that was given to the Chinese without a percentage prescription to the Namibian business people. There must be deliberate and transparent policies that ensure that the Namibian business community is benefiting percentage wise. It should not only depend on the goodwill of those who win the tenders. In addition, special programmes should be extended to drilling tenders for the mining companies, ore transportation tenders amongst others,” he said.
He said the extraction of resources has not benefited local people.
“It remains true that despite our resources we remain poor with terrible gap in terms of equitable resource distribution. Some of the companies definitely woke up and realised that resource extraction should go hand in hand with transparent distribution. In this boat Namibia has to move towards equitable distribution of resources,” Mutjavikua concluded.

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