Govt construction spending top N$3b

Government has seen its expenditure on construction and renovation of public properties, escalating by a billion dollars the latest figures show.
The statistics come in the wake of different ministries and Government agencies being accused of under-spending on capital budgets while others have seriously under-spent on their developmental budgets, returning money to Treasury in the process.
According to the latest statistics on Government expenditure on either renovations or construction of new buildings overall, the public has seen over N$3.3 billion (N$3 2 77 866,000) of their money in the 2013-2014 financial year being used in renovations and construction, while  just more than N$2,5 billion (N$2 507 984 000) in the same period in 2011-2012 went towards similar projects.
The Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry has been the biggest spender on either renovations or construction gulping N$623 million last year and a considerable N$895m in the ongoing financial year, although the breakdown does not give much detail on the type of projects the ministry engaged in.
The Ministry of Health and Social Services is the second heavy spender on construction and renovation projects expenditure, using N$361m in 2012-2013 and N$500m in the current financial year.
Figures at hand however show that the President’s Office has been somewhat prudent with its finances on construction and renovations and they have managed to reduce their expenditure from N$108m in 2012-2013 to a moderate N$35m to date.
The Prime Minister’s Office has also spent a considerable N$53m on renovations and construction in the last budget and N$54m in the current financial year in similar projects.
Other big spenders on the construction and renovation of their assets is both the Defence and Police forces which have gulped N$200 million in 2012-32013 and N$202 million in 2013-2014 and N$216m in 2012-2013 and N$445m respectively.
Tourism and Hospitality which has been touted as one of the potential drivers of the economy in the newly formulated National Development Plan IV, spent N$108m in the last financial year and their current expenditure on such projects stands at N$115m.
Ironically, the Ministry of Regional, Local Government, Housing and Rural Development did not have any money channelled to the construction or renovation of any sort in the two financial periods under review, while the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spent nothing in the last financial year and eventually channelled N$5m to such projects to date.
Foreign Affairs could have spent slightly more on the construction projects if their planned erection of a VIP lounge at Hosea Kutako International Airport had gone through.
Other ministries and Government organs which did not have any expenditure on projects including construction and renovation include the Electoral Commission of Namibian (ECN), National Planning  Commission (NPC), Ministry of Lands and Resettlement, department of Transport within the Ministry of Transport and Works and the National Council which only used N$8m in the last financial and nothing to date.
The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources reached its peak spending  in developmental projects between 2012 and 2013 consuming a moderate  N$53m and N$42m to-date while the Ministry of Trade and Industry spent N$42m in the last financial year and eventually went down to N$34m to-date.
The correctional services department saw its expenditure on either construction or renovations jumping from N$72m in the last financial year to N$107m in the current financial year.
Other light spenders within the period under review has been the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration consuming N$7m in 2012-2013 and N$57m in the current financial year while the office of the Auditor General which is on the verge of completing its state of the art office near the Central Business District (CBD), used N$35m in 2012-2013 and N$16m this year to date.
Ministry of Youths Sports and Culture has cultivated N$57m in 2012-2013 and N$60m in the current financial year to drive different construction and renovation projects while the Ministry of Information Technology spent N$40m in the last financial year on the same projects as the others, but they are still to spend a dollar to date.