Select Page

Ithindi charts way forward for envisaged revenue agency

“The main objective of establishing a semi-autonomous [revenue] agency is to inject operational efficiency in the administration of tax and customs services,” said Mr Penda Ithindi, Deputy Director in the Ministry of Finance. “This is envisaged to be achieved through improving and attracting specialized skills as well as harnessing technological innovation to provide robust taxpayer services,” he highlighted.
 Ithindi addressed members of the Economic Association of Namibia at a dinner on Wednesday evening in Windhoek, giving a presentation on the soon to be established revenue agency. He also elaborated on what the task team’s would be doing in the interim.

Said Ithindi, “For the next 12 months, the task team will develop the policy framework and draft the enabling legislation. The policy framework will set out national objectives to be achieved through the establishment of the revenue agency and [define] specific policy choices to achieve those objectives in the context of special circumstances for Namibia. This is especially in regard to the institutional characteristics of the new agency, its governance framework, degree of autonomy, accountability and scope of its mandate. The policy framework will inform the enabling legislation.”
“The need for national consultation and learning from regional and international best practices can not be overemphasized. Wide stakeholder consultation will be undertaken at various stages,” he said.
“In the interim the Ministry will continue to implement on-going tax and customs administration reforms, including business re-engineering and a change-management drive. To the extent possible, the implementation of the reform agenda will be streamlined to the objectives of the envisaged new institutional arrangement,” Ithindi said.
“A situation analysis of the status quo and current constraints facing tax and customs services has been carried out, based on previous work done in this area as well as regional and international best practices. This forms the basis for activities for the task team going forward,” concluded Ithindi. The task team has 36 months in which it has to come up with a model relevant to the Namibian context. The team has three broad mandates and will set forth a policy framework that will define the nature of the revenue agency as well as policies that will drive core functions. Draft legislation will also be drawn up on the basis of the framework and international best practices will be adopted.  The task team will also have the responsibility of steering the transitional process and will undertake stakeholder participation whilst looking at various models to encapsulate the agency’s operation.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia

Promotion

20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.