By Patience Nyangove
THE Namibia Airports Company (NAC) board has allegedly refused to approve a N$1 billion capital budget for the 2017/18 financial year, presented to it by the company’s senior management.
This comes amid claims that the parastatal’s executives are milking the company dry, including through vehicle maintenance and fuel expenses, which sees the NAC spending an average of N$800 000 per year for the fuelling up of 30 luxury vehicles, driven by its top management.
A further N$1.2 million was paid by the company for the maintenance of these vehicles during one year. Between April 2016 and April 2017 the NAC spent N$1.3 million to maintain these vehicles.
These figures are contained in documents leaked to Confidente this week.
The documents show NAC Legal Advisor, Lot Haifidi, claimed N$700 000 for fuel and the servicing of his vehicle in 12 months.
Confidente can also reveal that the parastatal has been spending several millions purchasing top-of-the-range vehicles for its 30 executives, which include the latest Toyota Prados, Mercedes Benz MLs, Jeep Grand Cherokees, Jeep SRTs, Land Cruisers, Toyota Fortuners and BMWs, among others, which are priced between N$400 000 and over N$1 million each.
“What is happening at NAC is that some of our senior managers still want to continue with the looting of the parastatal’s resources and the awarding of tenders dubiously, to companies they own through their proxies, or have received bribes, and this has strained the relationship between the board that wants to do things properly, and senior management,” sources at NAC said this week, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.
The documents also show that between April 2016 and April 2017, the NAC’s executives, who get an allocation of between 240 and 400 litres of fuel a month each, which translates to a whopping 110 400 litres of fuel annually, ran up a fuel bill of N$800 000.
The amount of fuel executives can claim a day is not capped, which has opened the facility up to alleged rampant abuse.
The documents also show that Haifidi, Eino Amaambo, Albert Sibeya (human resources) and Leonard Shipuata (strategic business) incurred vehicle maintenance costs of between N$100 000 and N$470 000 annually.
Their fuel consumption costs range between N$52 000 to N$122 000 annually.
The documents also reveal that Haifidi claimed 11 184 litres of fuel in 12 months, 6 384 litres of fuel more than his annually allocated 4 800 litres.
However, the documents also show that NAC management could have tried to mislead the board, by understating the amount of fuel they received, as documents at hand show that most of the entries were subsequently marked “false”.
On the matter of the N$1 billion NAC capital budget, Confidente is reliably informed that NAC executives are not happy with the way their colleagues have been running the parastatal.
The NAC board has cancelled the Ondangwa Airport upgrade, but management is trying to allegedly sneak the project into the 2017/18 capital budget.
Confidente is also informed that the reason why the NAC board has been reluctant to approve the budget is because of fears that it may not be able to control spending by the parastatal’s executive, as the money may be diverted away from its intended use.
Confidente was also informed that one female board member has reportedly broken ranks with the rest of the board, after she reportedly received a substantial amount of money from a high-ranking government officials, who want to ensure that their proxies continue to benefit from the parastatal’s lucrative tenders.
When contacted for comment, NAC board chairperson, Rodgers Kauta, referred Confidente to his deputy, Beverly Gawanas-Vugs, saying the expenditure matters were still being handled by the board’s audit committee.
“It hasn’t come to the main board yet. The board will meet on June 23 to discuss the matters,” Kauta said Wednesday.
Gawanas-Vugs refused to divulge any information.
“It’s an internal matter. We are currently addressing it at the next board meeting to come up with mitigating control measures to cap the expenditure. During the 23rd June board meeting, the board’s audit committee proposed measures to be discussed at the next board meeting, on how to mitigate the risk of overspending,” Gawanas-Vugs said on Wednesday.
NAC Manager for Corporate Communications, Nankelo Katjiuongua, said, “The NAC executive has submitted to the board of directors our budget for the capital projects needed, as is normal business practice… The capital expenditure is focused on the projects that are already in progress, as well as those that are expected to start in the current financial year, once the funding has been sourced.
“All capital expenditure projects are based and on the availability of funds and no projects have or will commence until the funding had been secured.
“At this stage the proposed budget has been presented to the board of directors, and is strictly confidential, until the board and Ministry of Works, as our line ministry have approved it.”
On the issue of the NAC spending millions on vehicle maintenance and fuel for its executives, Katjiuongua denied this.
“There is a policy and contractual guidance that guides usage of the fuel, and if excessive usage happens, we take action accordingly. It is misleading to think that there are no limits to the usage. The NAC has measures in place, that if employees exceed their limit, they are required, in terms of the procedure, to pay back.
“Corrective measures are taken and employees are issued with invoices and letters detailing the excess, and the money is deducted from their salaries. If there is evidence of abuse, the NAC investigates and corrective action is taken to recoup,” Katjiuongua said.
“We would like to state categorically that of the employees that have excessive usage, not a single one is an executive of the Namibia Airports Company.”
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015