WALVIS BAY, 14 MAY – Construction of the N$ 530 million horse mackerel processing facility of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) in Walvis Bay is going well and should be finalised by September this year.
This was revealed by Fishcor Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mike Nghipunya during a media tour to the facility Saturday.
The facility is being constructed on a strategic on-shore location acquired by government-owned Fishcor for N$160 million from Etale Properties in 2016.
Fishcor’s partner, African Selection Trust (AST), pumped in N$370 million towards the project and the funds were used to demolish the old and dilapidated infrastructure and construction and refrigeration of the facility.
Despite this, Fishcor has fallen prey to its competitors and critics for partnering with AST, which is a South African-based Angolan company.
“This is a very intricate industry; you have to make sure that this guy [partner] is not just taking chances. This guy is really able to deliver as per our expectations. That is part of our strength to understand what we want and to understand who we want to work with,” Nghipunya said.
Upon completion, the plant will accommodate 600 tons of horse mackerel and create at least 700 new direct jobs, of which 70 per cent will be occupied by women, Nghipunya revealed.
“Value addition for the government is employment creation and income distribution to the people that need the income. Value addition for the government is not generally about changing the form of a product into another form because you can do that with machinery and with one person,” the CEO said.
To ensure this, Fishcor will acquire refrigerated sea water vessels to feed the facility with fish.
Moreover, Fishcor envisage to create partnership with other fishing companies, especially those who wish to use its massive refrigeration capacity.
The target market for Fishcor’s horse mackerel include the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the local market.
“Horse mackerel is for the poor,” he said.
Nghipunya, who was appointed acting CEO of Fishcor in 2014 before taking on the role in a substantive capacity in 2016, said the organisation has contributed around N.dollars 5.6 million through its corporate social responsibilities.
Additionally, the company has also donated N.dollars 10 million to the Regional Governors’ Trust, N.dollars 22 million towards drought relief, N.dollars 8 million to the Food Bank and N.dollars 5 million to Sierra Leone to mitigate the impact of a mudslide which left over 1 000 people dead last year.