Two minutes later a news item announced that Nigerian authorities had grounded Air Nigeria for suspected regulatory failures! The next day, presumably to show an unbiased media stance, a Nigerian government official vehemently protested their regulatory environment was competent and “clean”. The only real tale is crash statistics from international independents, but are they? What is the truth?
Closer to home I watch the periodic fracases in our air industry lot over pilot qualifications, inspection conformity, air traffic control and the constant management woes and the financial joke of successive strategic plans for failure that started when some “friend of somebody” came from outside to run our planes, ripped us off on an inappropriately equipped Jumbo and left with a fat payoff for his uselessness.
On different tack I look at a recent letter by dissatisfied black Namibian potential pilots who feel let down by the employment of short term expatriate white pilots! Do they have a point? I recall my favourite airline to Europe was Ethiopian (arrive mid morning), and yes, their pilots for decades have been Ethiopians; their safety record is good. So GRN is prejudiced?
I look back to 1990 when our airline, while not a cash cow, at least paid for itself! As did TransNamib, NamWater, NamPower and most other functional corporate agencies of GRN. I now look at our inability to collect debts, capital projects that massively exceed benchmark prices, our willingness to support the obviously incompetent CEOs and ultimately the use of political blackmail to force money from Finance to repair the damage rather than employ the competent, take the difficult decisions and progress.
The above is only a microcosm of the total. How have we got to such insanity? We have lost organisational control and are not delivering action on the ground, only noise in the air! Possibly we have to go back to the days of our Founding Father who, despite many failures, had clear vision and kept Swapo under control. Now our ruling party seems motivated by financial gain as GRN has shifted from a servant of the people to a way for the chosen to tap into the national gravy train.
Let’s look at some severe daftness. Our PM stated quite accurately that the SOE Council can only become involved in SOE incompetence when the parent ministry asks! What hog wash. The ACC cannot vet lifestyle anomalies, can only act reactively! NPC has become another joke by failing to launch NDP4 as promised and obviously is trying to rebuild its empire judging by its crazy job adverts supposedly for thinkers!
Then the daftness of reshuffling PSs / AOs to avoid them accounting for their 5 year performance contracts! When will we have the guts to realise that governance, accountability and openness is about real, measureable delivery on the ground not constantly renewing action plans and strategies.
We have got ourselves into the trap by planning ourselves to a standstill. Ditch Vision 2030, NDP4 and strategic plans longer than 4 pages. Use budgets to plan outcomes, performance and resources allocation. As our Founding Father intended!
Currently we are delivering “Less for More” and “the Poor are More”! Mr President, please act with strength. Or do we need, heaven forbid, an air crash?