NTA board scrutiny came late, says Kandjii-Murangi

Stefanus Nashama

Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation, Itah Kandjii-Murangi, says concerns surrounding the composition of the Namibia Training Authority (NTA)’s board have been only raised now despite the board having been in operation for over a year.

“Regrettably, the concerns regarding the composition of the board have only been raised at this juncture, despite the board having been in operation for over a year now,” Kandjii-Murangi said.

The minister was providing clarity on the recent concerns raised by labour unions and employer associations regarding the NTA Board Constitution.

Kandjii-Murangi questioned the timing of objections made by the unions and employers’ representatives, saying it was necessary to consider whether genuine concerns for the effective functioning of NTA or other motives drive them.

Last week, the unions and employers, namely: Namibian Employers’ Federation (NEF), Namibian Employers Association (NEA), National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) and Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) expressed concern to have not been represented on the NTA board.

They expressed being undermined in overseeing the vocational training fund of NTA, resulting in them threatening to withdraw their contributions from the fund, which constitute more than N$1 million per annum.

At the same time, the organisations called for the dissolution of the board and the appointment of new board members.

Despite this, the minister argued that the dissolution of the board would only disrupt the continuity of NTA’s operations and impede essential service delivery to stakeholders.

“Such a course of action would be detrimental to the interest of all parties involved and would not serve the best interest of the nation,” she stressed.

According to Kandjii-Murangi, establishing protocols and legal frameworks concluded the appointment of the NTA board.

The board members were appointed in January last year, following the vetting process based on suitability and competence to carry out the responsibility assigned to them, she added.

The minister further said she invited unions and employer associations, and the Ministry of Labour, Industrial Relations and Employment Creation for a constructive engagement to propose four names for consideration to augment the composition of the board.

“This gesture underscores my commitment to inclusivity and collaboration in governance,” she mentioned.

Kandjii-Murangi highlighted that the ministry does not select names for nomination, it only receives them for recommendation and scrutiny based on qualifications and experience.

However, the ministry has the latitude to add or subtract names, added.

According to the unions, the Act regulating the appointment of the board stipulates that the board must have 11 members, with five appointed by employer representatives on the advisory of the labour council and two by the union representatives on the council.

Representatives from the Development Bank of Namibia, Welwitchia Health Centre, Uretek Ground Engineering, Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, and The University Centre for Studies in Namibia are allegedly serving on the NTA board.

Related Posts