Newly-appointed Namibia Airports Company (NAC) Chief Executive Officer, Bisey //Uirab, has vowed to deploy the formula that has brought glory to the Namibian Port Authority when he takes charge of the airports operator at the beginning of May.
//Uirab made these remarks in an interview with NAMPA, shortly after his appointment as NAC CEO on Thursday.
/Uirab attributed his much-talked-about success at Namport to team work, stable leadership and clearly-defined objectives, whereby each player knows explicitly what is expected of them.
He said if the same is applied at the struggling parastatal, success is guaranteed.
“We have built a very strong team [at Namport] both in terms of management and staff. So the issue of teamwork is very important and that is what I will try and continue here. Obviously stakeholder engagement with all key customers [and] with the shareholder is key,” he said.
On his immediate objectives, /Uirab said he is preoccupied with bringing stability and leadership to the NAC.
In five years’ time, /Uirab would like to be rated on, among other things, whether or not NAC is finacially stable, has the requisite infrastructure in place and whether it is rendering the best service possible to its clients.
Coming from Namport, where political interference is uncommon, /Uirab said he expects the same when he takes charge of NAC.
“I am very happy with the undertaking of both ministers [John Mutorwa and Leon Jooste] and the chairperson [Leake Hangala] that all the structures within this partnership must play their part. The minister will do the shareholder’s representation. The board will give guidance. The management will have to do what they have to do,” he said.
The airports operator was forced to head hunt a new CEO after Werner Schuckmann rejected the offer to be its new head in December amid concerns about his hefty salary demands.
Unconfirmed reports suggested that Schuckmann had demanded a yearly salary of N$2, 6 million, which was said to be N$1,4 million more than what the previous airport boss was earning.
A former mathematics and science at Martin Luther High, /Uirab is also a founding member of the Namibia National Students Organisation (Nanso) together with the likes of Mac Hengari, Professor Joseph Diescho, the late Pele Damaseb, Minister Tjekero Tweya and George Mayumbelo.
He worked for the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) as a paralegal before Independence, rising through the ranks to become LAC's office administrator and then office manager.
/Uirab joined the Bank of Namibia (BoN) as a training manager and was later promoted to become the human resource manager after completing his MBA programme at the Edinburgh Business School in Scotland.
From the Bank of Namibia, he joined MTC as the human resources general manager, where he was among the first black members of the top management team.
After six years working for the mobile carrier, /Uirab joined the Somali Telecoms Group in Somaliland, where he worked with Bengt Strenge, a former MD of MTC who had initially recruited him.
In 2014, /Uirab was hailed by former President Hifikepunye Pohamba as an exemplary leader.
The NAMPORT board last week described /Uirab’s 10-year reign at the ports company as very successful.
Announcing /Uirab’s departure, the board said he had diligently steered the authority from a fairly medium sized public enterprise into the regionally acclaimed logistics and maritime industry leader.
It said, the milestones reached under /Uirab since his appointment in 2009 include increasing NAMPORT’s revenue from N$434 million in 2008 to N$1 billion in 2018 and an increase in cargo handled at the country’s ports from 4,6 million tonnes in 2008 to 5,3 million tonnes in 2018.
/Uirab's role in the development of the N$4,3 billion container terminal at Walvis Bay was also regarded as another milestone, the same as the port's local procurement empowerment and capacitation strategy have seen an 80% local procurement of services under his leadership.
NAC Strategic Executive: Corporate Governance, is currently serving as Acting Chief Executive Officer since 5 September, his second stint as Acting CEO.
Haifidi replaced another Acting CEO, former State House aide, Albertus Aochamub, who has since been appointed as Namibia’s Ambassador to France.
Before that, Josephine Soroses acted as CEO when former CEO, Tamer El-Kallawi, was suspended on 21 June 2017.
El-Kallawi faced up to 36 charges of corruption, bribery, fraud and dishonest, but later reached a settlement with the NAC to leave the company. –NAMPA and own report