Some small-scale businesses this week have watered down the Namibia Industrial Development Agency (NIDA), the country’s newest State-Owned Enterprise, as a money-making idea that should have stayed in the ambit of the trade ministry.
This is amidst accusations that management is sitting on its laurels and doing nothing about availing offices to SMEs in the country.
Petrus Hatupopi is one such young man that heckled the management via a public address system calling the executive director, Uparura Kuvare, to address concerns.
“We came here because we are being affected by NIDA. Government properties built countrywide are not being availed to us. We have properties in Ohangwena which have been empty for like three years,” he said.
NIDA said it has also set aside adequate industrial land available for private sector development in different towns across the country, such as in Tsumeb, Otavi, Divundu, Walvis Bay, Karibib, Okahandja, Opuwo, Witvlei, Otjiwarongo, Omaruru, Oshakati, Brakwater and Prosperita in Windhoek
Hatupopi said they have made proposals on what to do with these buildings but have not heard from the parastatal.
He said some of them are ready to refurbish ageing infrastructure using their money for as long as these will be given to them for office space.
“They do not even give us a clue. Their regional coordinators do not even understand what is going on. These people expect you to have an official appointment and kneel in their offices, that is not working, that is why we have to address them the informal way,” he said.
NIDA came into existence in 2018, was established in terms of Act 16 of 2016, to advance Namibia’s industrialization agenda in line with the country’s policies and developmental strategies, such as the Growth at Home Strategy, Harambee Prosperity Plan and 5th Namibia Development Plan (NDP5).
“The executive director, Mr Kuvare you do not know what you are doing. You are sleeping on our propels. We are not asking to come and operate from your bedrooms. Mr Kuvare we are asking to come and operate on government properties that were built by taxpayers’ money,” he called out.
Management at NIDA did not show up to meet up with him.