Census IT specialists left in limbo by payment delays

A group of 55  information technology (IT) specialists contracted by the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) is expressing outrage over what they claimed are repeated delays in payments that should have been made on 30 November. 

The specialists were contracted as part of the 2023 census staff whose contracts were extended for a period of 13 days from 1-13 November. 

Among the various fees that have been delayed are overtime and other fees. 

One of the IT specialists said he used his savings, while waiting for his overtime and device fees from the NSA, which have still not been paid. 

Some of the specialists spoke to The Namibian earlier this week to air their complaints.

 One of the specialists who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the delay in payment has put him in a difficult financial position and jeopardised his plans. 

“They have never honoured our agreements since day one and all they do is skip dates with empty promises,” he said.  

According to another specialist who also spoke on condition of anonymity, during the project’s duration payments were either not made on time or released in portions. In some cases, some people never received any payment at all. 

“We are complaining, because they haven’t paid us  in time as agreed and they also keep giving dates of payments and when the date comes, no payment is done and they give us another date with no reasons as to why there is a delay,” he said.  

He added that the dates provided for payments – 5 and 15 December – have both passed with no payments being made. 

Another specialist, who supports his younger sister and cousin financially after his parents moved to northern Namibia, said the delays have impacted his finances negatively. 

“I had to go to a cash loan in order to make ends meet. Similar to the enumerators, I think there is a lack of competency in the finance department, if not the whole agency.” 

He said many have enquired about their individual cases and received no information about missing documents or lost equipment. 

According to NSA acting executive for information technology solutions and data processing Henok Immanuel, all payments were made by 30 November.   

“Staff that have not received their payments [are] due to various reasons such as equipment that they have lost or broken, hence the withhold [sic]. Another reason is the availability of payment forms that they have not been submitted on it, [sic]” Immanuel said.  

Immanuel further noted that the payments that have been withheld are being attended to on a case by case basis. 

“We appreciate the efforts of the IT teams towards the project and wish to reassure them that all payments which are due shall be paid by 22 December,” Immanuel said. 

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