Saara budgets for 162 new development projectsBy: JO-MARÉ DUDDY
FINANCE Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila has introduced 162 new projects in the Development Budget over the next three years as part of Government’s plan to create 104 000 new jobs until 2014.
In total, the Development Budget will finance 646 projects, of which 484 are ongoing, Old Mutual Namibia group economist, Robin Sherbourne, said yesterday.
“Government says it has achieved an execution rate of nearly 90 per cent during the three financial years 2007-08 to 2009-10. If this is maintained in 2011-12, we can expect some N$7,2 billion worth of development spending to take place through the State Revenue Fund. This is likely to generate a significant amount of additional economic activity and jobs in the short term,” he said.
He added: “The real test, however, is whether it will translate into sustained economic activity in the longer term.”
Kuugongelwa-Amadhila earlier this month introduced the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (Tipeeg), aimed to slash Namibia’s unemployment figure of 51,2 per cent.
Sherbourne said 45 per cent of the projects in the Development Budget for 2011-12 received an increase of N$40 million or more.
The following projects all got an increase of N$100 million or more for 2011-12: A total of N$365 million will be pumped into building large dams in the coming financial year, while N$2,8 billion in total will flow into these projects over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) until March 2014.
About N$348,6 million will be ploughed into the Green Scheme in 2011-12, totalling N$3,3 billion over the MTEF. The military will get N$343 million this coming financial year (N$3,6 billion:MTEF) for research and development, followed by the Northern Railway Extension Line with N$286,1 million (N$1,5 billion:MTEF).
In 2011-12, N$249,6 million has been budgeted for new facilities for Namibia Wildlife Resorts (N$2,97 billion:MTEF), while N$163 million (N$265,3 million: MTEF) has been allocated for the 2011 Population and Housing Census.
Government intends spending N$150 million (N$609,8 million: MTEF) to buy diplomatic premises abroad, as well as N$120 million (N$1,2 billion: MTEF) on the School of Medicine at the University of Namibia. On the intermediate hospital extension in Oshakati, N$114,3 million (N$427,9 million: MTEF) has been set aside, while N$105,3 million (N$1,7 billion: MTEF) will be spent on the National Horticulture Development Initiative.
For the rural secondary pipeline construction, N$105,2 million (N$1,2 billion: MTEF) has been earmarked, while N$100 million (N$653,4 million:MTEF) will go towards rural electrification.
Sherbourne said when very similar groups of projects are added together, it can be seen that road construction and upgrading (N$1,18 billion), urban sanitation (N$496,2 million), hospital building and renovation (N$300,1 million), police stations and accommodation (N$230,8 million), road rehabilitation and maintenance (N$167,8 million), and military bases (N$141 million) receive very significant allocations for the coming financial year.
Significant amounts of funding also continue to be allocated to Government offices of one description or another in 2011-12, he said.
The largest of these are State House extensions in the regions (N$88,9 million), a new office for the Auditor General (N$50 million), office accommodation for the Ministry of Finance (N$43 million), the renovation of the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare’s head office (N$48 million), the Government hangar (N$40,7 million), Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (N$67,7 million), and a new office for the Anti-Corruption Commission (N$37,6 million).
Sherbourne said a substantial amount of additional funding has been made available outside the budget, which brings total budgeted development spending in 2011-12 from N$8 billion to N$8,6 billion.