The Head of the State H.E.Hifikepunye Pohamba is a practical and hands on leader who cannot be deceived by reports and presentations. How does he do this, he pays sight visits and while there he takes a hard look at the environment and immediately he can say if conditions are satisfactory or not. One would wish that all the leaders in the public sector adopt this attitude of following up on all the commitments on public projects so that they can see for themselves what is going on there and take immediate action.
While following up on the Mass Housing Scheme he noted with concern that indeed progress is being made but, one thing is missing and that is quality. The President has bemoaned the lack of quality work by Namibian contractors who, upon winning tenders, do shoddy work and a few months down the line the walls and floors of the clinics or schools develop cracks, a sign of poor workmanship which underlies lack of patriotism and obviously a selfishness and greed. Such tendencies are retrogressive for a young and developing nation, we have so much to work on and hence our limited resource must not fall prey to fill the bottomless pit of unbridled greed. According to the President, should the State decide to award tenders to Chinese companies the very same people cry foul.
The sad thing is that these people who do such things are Namibians who should upon being given an opportunity to undertake work, on behalf of the state should go all out and pledge to carry out meticulous work not because they want to win another tender, but seeing themselves as being given an enviable opportunity to put their mark in building Namibia. But alas, the question of who are you short changing, of course yourself and the Namibian nation who are not there to tell you that you are taking them for a ride and this is not right at all morally and ethically.
Quality concerns are not only limited to people being awarded construction tenders alone but in every sphere of society. Take for example school teachers who have been given tenders to educate, develop and shape the Namibian nation. Then tell me, ladies and gentlemen, how you can go about seeing that your learners can hardly read or write and yet this is taken as business as usual. When the nation complains about the lack of quality from the graduates then all fingers are pointed in all direction except ourselves. The Government must be applauded for allocating a lion’s share in education but the returns are very low. I have singled out education because it is the engine for growth and development of the nation. If the education system fails to produce quality products then this is a recipe for disaster.
Namibia, as the Founding Father Dr Sam Nujoma has always emphasised, is endowed with natural resources which should be tapped into and unlock economic value. But this is likely to remain a pipe dream if we fail to join hands and ensure quality service and even demand it without anyone feeling offended or being put in the spot light, we should be able at times to accept criticism as an opportunity to do things differently for the greater good of Namibia.
Business favours and calls for quality service delivery be it in the banking, retail, transport and all corners of our society including Meme Kapana. In the words of Lazarus Jacob the Co-Director of Paragon Investment, Namibia is competing with the world and we cannot afford to play small and expect mercy. Recently South Africa was toppled as the number one economy in Africa and China is working hard to be the world super power. Here we go, it’s a case of shoulder to wheel, let’s get Namibia working, let’s make Namibia come first for quality is an invaluable currency now and forever...Happy reading until next time! FP