The Bank of Namibia yesterday announced its dividends to the government amounts N$413.7 million after its operating profit increased by 11.5 percent from N$584.2 million in 2021 to N$651.2 million in 2022.
Dividends paid to the government were made possible after the central banks’ reserves increased from N$672 million in 2021 to N$772 million in 2022, the central bank’s Governor Johannes !Gawaxab announced during the annual report launch for 2022 under the theme of global economic shocks, rewiring Namibia to bolster resilience.
The Governor also indicated that the domestic economy has shown a slight growth of 4.6 percent in 2022, compared to 3.5 percent. He however, raised concern about the downward in domestic economic growth, which he said is expected to be at 2.9 percent for the year 2023 stretching to 2024, adding that this is largely attributed to weaker global demands.
This downward trend the Governor said, will see the monitoring policy tightening its belt, which could see the repo rate again increasing to safeguard the economy from collapsing, which means more constraints again on consumers, banks and water interruption amongst others.
Despite this, the Governor is optimistic that Namibia’s Financial system remains sound, resilient and competitive with the world market, thus reiterating that as a central bank entrusted by the government and the citizens to safeguard the country’s economy, they will continue to monitor this trends and make amendments where necessary.
Namibia recorded an increase in headline inflation during 2022 compared to 2021, posing great pressure on the cost of living. Overall inflation rose significantly from 3.6 percent in 2021, to 6.1 percent in 2022.
The Governor said that the high inflation was predominantly driven by transport inflation attributable to high international oil prices, aggravated by the exchange rate depreciation. Inflation for food and non-alcoholic beverages, housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels accelerated in 2022 which also contributed to higher overall inflation.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Finance and Public Enterprise Maureen Hinda-Mbeunde lauded the central government for timely delivering on its promises to deliver its annual report, lamenting that they never fail to deliver and continue to set an example for banking institutions which has integrity, progressiveness, inclusivity and digitalization.
She stated that the paid dividends are very crucial in mitigating financial constraints of some of the government’s shortcomings where funds are limited. She said the money will be utilized for its intended purposes.