An NDP is just an NDP
Does it still matter anymore whether it’s NDP IV or NDP XXX? For all what the nation has seen with all the NDPs is the much hyped launch and then dead silence.
And we ask: What will NDP IV do which the other still-born NDPs failed to do? Is it the size of the document’s volume which we have been told again and again that it is thinner and therefore has delineated goals?
All what we have seen is inaction while the economy has slowly slid into the mire.
Indeed, Namibia has come mapped out and laid down brilliant economic turnaround policies which, if they had been implemented would by now have worked magic. But all those brilliant plans and ideas ended up living their lives between covers of documents while there has been nothing but mere talk.
We also find it puzzling that the nation and the National Planning Commission has the guts and the nerve to work on another policy document when NDP I, II and III’s goals were clearly not met.
Don’t we have the right to know how the previous NDPs performed? As in how much employment was created in which sectors of the economy? How many such jobs are permanent? And how much was contributed to the fiscus?
It’s by doing this and by providing records that we will know whether the NDPs are working or not. It is by doing this that we can say all the time and money pumped into the NDPs exercises are worthwhile. We can also be clear as to how to map the way forward. The fact that no figures were given and no record, in form of an assessment of how the NDPs performed, means we are groping in the dark with our eyes closed. It’s tantamount to cheating ourselves; in telling ourselves that we are doing something when in actual fact, we are doing nothing; going nowhere. How does this work? It is like proceeding to the next grade when one has not passed the previous one.
We state without fear that the previous NDPs failed because nothing changed. Instead, unemployment which should be one of the yardsticks used to measure any economic policy has not been dented.
How can a nation go forward when it has not dealt with outstanding issues? What guarantees success in this case? Are we not creating gaps which will haunt the nation in the end?
What we need is action. This has been said before. The implementing authority, the NPC, should be serious. Cabinet should also keep track of the success or failures of the NPC.