WINDHOEK, 18 SEP – Leader of the Popular Democratic Movement (PDM), McHenry Venaani said Finance Minister, Calle Schlettwein should apologise for saying he has no regrets on the Targeted Intervention Programme for Employment and Economic Growth (TIPEEG).
Venaani made this call during an interview with Nampa on Tuesday.
Schlettwein, who then was not the minister of finance, earlier said he does not regret Government’s expenditure in terms of TIPEEG, but wished the programme had better returns, adding that he wanted more productive capacity out of the huge amount Government spent.
Venaani is of the view that the targets set for TIPEEG were not met, projects were inflated while money went to waste.
“For the minister to say he does not regret shows he has no feelings for the Namibian nation. I want to request President Hage Geingob to tell our finance minister to publicly retract his statement,” Venaani said.
TIPEEG, according to the opposition leader, is the reason why the Namibian economy is “bleeding”, adding that the programme was a miserable project.
“We will take you on when we go to Parliament,” promised Venaani.
Through TIPEEG, the government intended to create 104 000 jobs over a three-year period, between 2011 and 2014.
When the programme came to an end in 2014, N.dollars 11 billion had been spent.
TIPEEG has been widely criticised for creating mainly short-term jobs despite the massive budget, with media reports showing that in the three years, the programme created 83 000 jobs of which only 15 829 were permanent.
The opposition leader further called for an economic summit to determine how the money to be borrowed from China will be spent.
According to Venaani, there are intentions by the Namibian government to borrow N.dollars 10 billion from China, and this was the main reason Geingob visited the Asian country recently.
Venaani said the summit should comprise of financial experts who will assist Government on how the borrowed money will be spent, in order for it not to be wasted.
“We need a multi-sectoral approach to kick-start our country’s economy,” he suggested.