Auditor General finds agronomic board in violation of agreement

Hertta-Maria Amutenja

Auditor General Junias Kandjeke has revealed that the Namibian Agronomic Board (NAB) failed to comply with key provisions outlined in its Memorandum of Agreement.

In the report on the accounts of NAB for the financial years ended 31 March 2022 and 2023, Kandjeke highlighted a breach in Article 8, paragraph 5.2, which mandates the appointment of an arbitrator under the approval of the Minister.

“The Board terminated the service of its agent, the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA), at year-end 31 March 2020 without the Minister’s approval, which is in contravention with Section 10(1)(g) of the Agronomic Industry Act, 1992 (Act 20 of 1992),” said Kandjeke.

The report further revealed that during the months of February 2020 and March 2020, the NAB collected all levies and fees, a function that should have been carried out by its agent, the Agro-Marketing and Trade Agency (AMTA).

This oversight persisted throughout the 2020-2021 financial period.

NAB Board in June 2014 appointed AMTA as its agent to assist the board in the performance of its functions related to marketing, processing, handling, and trade of controlled agronomic and horticultural products.

In 2020 NAB, AMTA, and the agriculture ministry were at loggerheads over levies collected by the agency, with the board suing the agency for close to N$30 million in a case in which the agriculture minister is also involved as a party.

Kandjekes’ report also sheds light on the remuneration practices of the NAB, particularly the senior management.

He said despite being classified as a Tier 1 entity, the NAB employed three General Managers at a cost exceeding the gazetted remuneration bands.

“The audit observed that the NAB employed three General Managers on Grade E1 of the Patterson grading system. The total cost to the company is observed as an average of N$900,000 per annum for each of the other two General Managers, and NS1,4 million for the other General Manager of Finance, Information Communication Technology, Human Resources and Administration.

The Namibian Agronomic Board is classified as a Tier 1 entity in the Government Gazette of 31 May 2013 No. 5213, (Amendment of Government Notice No. 174 of 2010). Tier 1 is set at N$ 722 423 at the 90″ Percentile as per the Amendment of Government Notice No. 174 of 2010,” he said.

Related Posts