NIPDB opts for expensive rent over free space

01 September 2021 | Government

The Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board (NIPDB) has rejected free office space extended to it by the trade ministry, citing lack of parking space at the Government Office Park.
The board, according to impeccable sources, also cited the location of the Government Office Park, where the ministries of agriculture, education, higher education, urban and rural development and parastatals such as NamPower are housed, as not strategically located for potential investors.
Instead, the board is spending close to N$100 000 per month on office space at the BRB Building adjacent to the land reform ministry in the capital.
Explaining why they rejected office space, the board’s chairperson Nangula Uaandja said: “It is not about requiring a lot of space, but making sure that it is accessible to investors. We looked at a building, it cannot be in a long tower type of building, it has to be accessible and there has to be sufficient parking space.”
She added the board intends to establish a one-stop service for investors. “We are speaking to all those institutions to say can we have them represented at one place so that when an investor comes, they can say [find] Bipa, Namra and whatever so that when they have their queries, they can walk from one to another.”
Since inception, the board has faced harsh criticism from the public, experts and politicians alike, with many questioning its entire existence, saying it is a duplicate of what ought to be a department within the trade ministry.
Landless People’s Movement leader Bernadus Swartbooi earlier this year questioned President Hage Geingob on why the trade ministry’s budget was slashed by at least N$100 million. The funds appear to have been redirected to the operations of NIPDB.
The board reports directly to Geingob.
“What will the poor lady [trade minister Lucia Ipumbu] do with this budget apart from paying salaries?” Swartbooi asked at the time.
Earlier this month, Geingob said he hopes there is no duplication of roles between the investment board and the trade ministry. – Nampa