By Patience Nyangove
THE Namibia Airports Company (NAC) says the upgrading and expansion of the Hosea Kutako International Airport will cost N$2 billion – a massive reduction from the N$7 billion the parastatal had been charged by Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group nearly two years ago for the project.
NAC board chairperson, Rodgers Kauta, said the re-advertisement for the upgrade and expansion tender will be out by November, and this time the tender will be advertised as a public-private partnership (PPP), which is more economical for government.
“Before November we will advertise the Hosea Kutako International Airport tender, and this time it must be a PPP, in favour of the NAC. Government has no money. The project will be spearheaded by a committee from the ministries of finance, works and transport and public enterprises, as well as the Office of the Attorney-General,” Kauta said.
“We have established that we can get a bigger and modern international airport, at a cost of N$2 billion, and save government billions of dollars,” Kauta said on Wednesday.
The tender for the renovation and expansion of HKIA has dragged on for over two years now, amid allegations of bribery and tender inflation, which led President Hage Geingob to cancel the contract that had initially been awarded to the Anhui Foreign Economic Construction Group.
The Chinese government-owned company subsequently dragged the NAC and government to court. The court battle eventually ended in the Supreme Court earlier this year, where Geingob was vindicated.
Confidente last month reported that Anhui is back in the running for the multi-billion dollar tender, amid reports that a war is being fought between the NAC board and high-ranking government officials in the Ministry of Works and Transport, over the project.
Works and Transport Minister, Alpheus !Naruseb informed Kauta in a letter that a Cabinet committee meeting held on 24 May had directed him and Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein, to instruct the parastatal to restart the airport bid, “as a matter of urgency”.
Kauta was further directed that Anhui may also be invited to tender.
Confidente also published a story that Anhui had made an impassioned plea to the NAC to initiate fresh negotiations around the project, which it wants to implement in phases. In a confidential letter dated 10 April, Anhui Vice-President, Yu Xiaofeng, pleaded with suspended NAC Chief Executive Officer, Tamer El- Kallawi, to start afresh with talks around the implementation of the project.
In Xiaofeng’s letter, which was also addressed to Kauta, Public Works and Transport Permanent Secretary, Willem Goeieman, Schlettwein and the Office of the Attorney-General he maintained that the matter was of an urgent nature, while pushing for a prompt response from El-Kallawi.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015