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Minister cracks whip on Nida rent arrears

The Namibia Industrial Development Agency (Nida) is owed a total of N$89 million, mainly in rent arrears, by a total of 1 057 active and vacated tenants, and the minister of industrialisation and trade, Lucia Iipumbu, has ordered that the money be recovered.

The agency falls under the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade to develop, manage and offer industrial infrastructure for economic activities that focus on job creation, import substitution of products and services, and investment attraction.

According to a statement issued by ministry spokesperson Elijah Mukubonda, the minister ordered Nida to instruct staff members in each of the 14 regions to collect the money within 60 days – from 22 April to 22 June.

“The minister’s intervention has resulted in the collection of N$4 million thus far, which would help Nida to address its operation and financial challenges.

“This has also resulted in the eviction of non-complying tenants and the recruitment of new occupants in their place, generating income for Nida,” the statement reads.

The agency manages 148 industrial estates, tourism centres, and small and medium enterprise (SME) business parks across the country, housing about 1 080 enterprises.

Mukubonda says the government recognises the vital role micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) play in the socio-economic development of Namibia, and through its sites and premises programme, the ministry continues providing a conducive business environment by developing multipurpose building blocks, industrial parks and SME common facility centres.

He says Nida only suspends utilities or evicts tenants at these facilities over unpaid rent as a last resort. These steps, however, negatively impact the overall efficiency of the facilities’ management.

“The ministry encourages tenants who fall into arrears to negotiate with Nida mutually acceptable terms to meet their obligations and enable the agency to render the required services to ease business operations,” Mukubonda says.

He says Nida is key to fostering industrial development projects to grow the economy and create jobs for Namibians through youth empowerment and entrepreneurship development, investment facilitation and attraction, export-oriented industrial growth and import substitution.

He says the ministry remains committed to delivering on its mandate to enhance a conducive working environment for businesses in the country, specifically through programmes such as the Equipment Aid Scheme, sustainable Development Goals impact facility and the Sites and Premises Programme designed to assist MSMEs to withstand the current harsh business climate.

Nida has set aside industrial land for private sector development at different towns across the country, such as Tsumeb, Otavi, Divundu, Walvis Bay, Karibib, Okahandja, Opuwo, Witvlei, Otjiwarongo, Omaruru, Oshakati, Brakwater and Prosperita in Windhoek.
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