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Featured

13 April 2017 Author  

The Ministry of Works and Transport says it might not be able to pay some of its outstanding invoices this financial year after Treasury only released N$581 million of the N$702 million the ministry owes service providers. The cash crunch experienced by the Government last year saw the ministry failing to pay invoices worth an initial N$702 million, but the finance ministry has since allocated N$581 million in the 2017/18 budget, leaving an outstanding amount of N$120 million.

“We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Ministry of Finance in making budgetary provision to settle the outstanding invoices to an amount of N$581 million during FY 2017/18, however, this leaves a shortfall of N$120 million,” works Minister Alpheus !Naruseb told Parliament this week, when he motivated a budget of N$3,72 billion for his ministry.

The payment shortfall could hurtGovernment contractors, who might have to wait until the next financial year to receive their payments, with the Construction Industries Federation of Namibia (CIF)last year having warned about job losses after Government had delayed payments to the sector.

!Naruseb also announced that the ministry hadfound it necessary to urgently assist the Namibia Airports Company to rehabilitate the Eros Runway and Taxiway, saying that the runway had become a danger to lives and traffic.

This comes as the Windhoek Observer in August last year exclusively revealed that the Eros Airport runway used by the President and for domestic routeshad ‘expired’, with the airstrip having exceeded its design life of 25 years.

!Naruseb also spoke strongly about the need to upgrade and modernise antiquated rolling stock and other equipment supporting the provision of railway services in order to improve availability,reliability and efficiency.

“Thus, increased spending on these programme activities to improve railway transportation services is anticipated.”

Government has set aside N$4 billion for the upgrading of the country’s ageing railway infrastructure over the next three years, against a 2015 TransNamib estimate of N$9 billion.

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