SOEs play cat and mouse with Govt over annual reports

Fluksman Samuehl

State-owned enterprises (SOEs) are still struggling to hold annual general meetings and produce updated annual financial reports.

Public enterprises forum Fluksman Samuehl yesterday told Desert Radio some SOEs are still failing to submit their audited financial records and turnaround strategies to the government.

“There are still some grey areas where entities are struggling to produce financial reports and hold annual general meetings,” he said.

This was after vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah criticised the executives of underperforming SOEs for failing to submit annual reports during a meeting last week.

Samuehl said while some SOEs have shown marked improvement, others still heavily rely on government bailouts.

Samuehl referred to the Namibia Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) and the Roads Authority, comparing them to entities like the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Namcor), which have required substantial bailouts in the past.

Samuehl said it is important to appoint competent and ethical leaders to SOE boards.

“It takes three entities: the shareholder has to appoint competent, results-oriented, and ethical people; the board has to provide strategic leadership and oversight; the management must implement agreed strategies,” he said.

He, however, added that the current generation of CEO’s are competent.

“The current generation of chief excutives and managing directors are more informed and experienced. They understand the connection between their work and the national development plan,” he said.

Samuehl asked for the public’s trust in the efforts of SOE leaders.

“I have no doubt that under good leadership, companies like Namcor will stabilise and turn around,” he said.

He said steps are being taken by the forum to ensure compliance and impactful contributions to national development.
“We are all together in this, and we all left the meeting knowing exactly what we need to do in our various spaces,” he said.

He further corrected the assertion that the vice president had used the term “lazy” to describe executives.
“She never used such words. She only expressed her concern regarding the speed of implementation and delivery,” Samuehl said.

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