SPYL joins opposition in bashing youth budget

Martin Endjala

Swapo Party Youth League Secretary Efraim Nekongo said he is dissapointed with the low allocation of money to the youth ministry, compared to the veterans ministry. The Ministry of Youth received N$473 million.

Nekongo said that although he did not fully peruse Finance Minister Iipumbu Shiimi’s statement, he scanned it.

“I am yet to fully peruse the budget document, however, upon scanning through it, i am not happy at all, given the fact the youth are the majority in the country. I am disappointed with the outcome of the budget and when I return from my parliamentary mission here in Mariental on natural resources, I shall sit down with the Finance Minister to understand the route they took and how they arrived to allocate such an amount.”, said the SPYL Secretary General.

He further stressed that the youth ministry, which also covers sports needed to get more money, to upgrade sport fields which he says need serious intervention.

Meanwhile, Landless and People’s Movement Youth Leader Duminga Ndala also echoed Nekongo’s sentiments, adding that based on what was allocated to the youth, it is an indication that the needs of the youth are not relevant to the government.

“I noticed that most of the money allocated to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and National Service (N$473 million) is mostly for infrastructures and development and not programs to empower the youth”, Ndala said.

Further highlighting that the allocation of N$207 million to the Ministry of labour is very concerning given the high number of youth unemployment in the country as well as the Fish Sector N$290 million.

Ndala questioned how the country would achieve job creation if such allocations are so low, further noting that the agriculture sector was only allocated N$1.7 billion bringing about the continuous unanswered question of how Namibia will improve its food security, especially when data dictates that about 90 percent of the countries food supply comes from South Africa.

“If we are really serious about our food security, then this sort of allocations must be re-looked and inject more in the sector”, she remarked.

She also questioned the N$297 million allocated to the Ministry of Trade and Industrialisation.

In addition to this, the All People’s Party Vincent Kanyetu blasted the government for celebrating the increase of pensioners with N$100, saying it is nothing to celebrate as the elderly continue to suffer,as a result of the inflation.

“As much as it is appreciable, it is just too little. Look at the 50kg maize meal which is now costing N$600 in the shop excluding transportation of that bag plus water rates to be paid. The lives of pensioners won’t improve. My suggestion is that N$2000 would have been a better increment, “Kanyetu said.

“Where is the President’s loyalty? He was a strong advocator for this, but after he was elected as head of state he forgot or what, if he did, we are now reminding him to do what he promised to the Namibian people, given that he is leaving office come 2024,”Kanyetu stressed. He also wants government to stop funding parastatals, who according to him are wasting state funds and not bring anything to the table. “It is high time we get rid of these parastatals wasting state funds once and for all and direct the money to sectors like agriculture”.he added.

He further echoed his disappointment with the allocation to the safety and security clusters which got N$6.7 billion, saying it is alarming, given the status quo in the country, of shortages of substations operating with either one vehicle which is of age or none at all, this he says, is a concerning matter in terms of safety and security for citizens, particularly in very remote areas.

“In incidents where a robbery is taking place, how can police officers attend to public members on time, hence he is of the opinion that big settlements in towns like Rundu given the rapid growth o the population amongst others cannot have substations operating with one vehicle”, Kanytu emphasized.

Meanwhile, Shiimi said that the organizing principle of the resource allocation process in the 2023/24 National Financial Year Budget as well as the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for FY2023/24 – FY2025/26 under the theme “Economic Revival and Caring for the Poor”. Is both pro-growth, pro-sustainability and pro-poor. “I believe, with this framework, we are moving forward steadily on the path towards safeguarding our fiscal sovereignty.

The total budget amounted to N$84.6 billion, inclusive of N$2.0 billion in development projects funded outside the State Revenue Fund and N$10.0 billion in debt servicing costs.

The budget represents an increase of 9.7 percent from the comparable levels for last year, the development budget has also been increased by 18.7 percent to N$6.5 billion, with interest payments amounting to N$10.2 billion equivalent to 13.4 percent of revenues and 4.7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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