Tourism

Shifeta re-appoints NWR board


WINDHOEK, JUNE 10 – Earlier today, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta announced an unchanged Namibia Wildlife Resorts board that will preside over the company for a second three year term (15 June 2019 until 14 June 2022.)

Shifeta praised the board that took over in March 2016 as a group of hard-workers, whose decisions were taken in the best interests of the company, staff and shareholders.

“I must admit with pride that this Board has shown us that when we send experienced tennis players to a tennis match we can expect to emerge with good results. Experience has now shown us that we need to bring the people who are experienced with the subject matter on Board to serve on the parastatals or any Board for that matter,” he said.

In addition, he said the current board had performed admirably since taking over in 2016, clarified by the fact that in year 2017, revenue had increased by 7 per cent from N$339 million, to N$361 million, while in year 2018, revenue decreased slightly by 1 per cent to N$ 359 million.

He noted that cost of sales had seen a significant reduction, contributing to overall reduction in expenses.

“Cost of Sales reduced from a 60% in 2016, to a 50% cost of sales in 2017, and the industry benchmark of 35% in 2018.”

Turning to earnings before interest, tax and depreciation, he said it stood at a loss in 2016 of N$30 million,
which turned to an operational profit of N$15 million in 2017, and a further improvement resulting in an operational profit of N$23 million in 2018.

“These improvements contributed to the fact that no government subsidy was given to NWR for the past
three years, since the year 2015.”

Despite the company not yielding any profit, Shifeta remained upbeat.

“However, after accounting for depreciation and interest, the bottom line profit turned into a loss. Even so, that loss of N$88 million in 2016, reduced by 55 per cent to a loss of N$39 million, and that reduction was again repeated in 2018, reducing the loss by a further 43 per cent in 2018, to N$22 million. This is a commendable effort by the Board,” said Shifeta.

Chairperson of NWR Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu echoed sentiments made by Shifeta on the company’s financial stance, saying the board had played a part akin to steering a sinking ship from deep waters and almost ashore.

“In 2016 NWR found itself on the verge of collapse, due to serious financial burdens, both short and longterm. Instead of asking for additional funding from the shareholder, the Board concentrated on finding solutions to the financial crisis without asking for a government bail-out,” he said.

He reiterated that NWR was getting to a point that it could be self-sufficient as it was not relying on Government funding for the past three years.

“Again, it is with great pride that I can share with the general public, that over the last three years NWR
has not been reliant on any funding from the shareholder, the Government of the Republic of Namibia. Even more so, as the latest audited financial results show, NWR is on a positive financial projective, with break-even results and even profitable operations being a very realistic scenario for the near future. NWR is now in a substantially better financial and operational position than it was three years ago,” said Iipumbu

The NWR Board, which is led by Iipumbu, was re-appointed on the backdrop of having fulfilled its mandate as set out by the Minister in March 2016 during initial appointment.

The NWR Board consists of: Ambassador Leonard Iipumbu (Chairperson), Mrs. Janet Wilson-Moore (Deputy Chairperson), Ms. Carol Williams, Mr. Rudie Putter, Ms. Elize Petersen, Mr. Bernd Schneider and Ms. Eva Shifotoka. – musa@namibiadailynews.info