Namibia
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Swapo is now buying our resources – Kavekotora

RETIRED Rally for Democracy and Progress parliamentarian Mike Kavekotora has joined other opposition parties in criticising the government’s handling of ownership of the much-anticipated green hydrogen project, claiming that the Swapo government is purchasing its own resources.

This comes after the government said it has notified Hyphen Hydrogen Energy of its intention to acquire a 24% equity stake in the project using funds from SGD Namibia One, an incoming €1 billion financing vehicle for green hydrogen investment in Namibia.

In a statement on Wednesday, Kavekotora said the government must explain the quantity and qualify the 24% stake it intends to acquire in the green hydrogen concerning the resources Namibia invested in the project.

He said the project is a derivative of Namibian resources, such as Namibia’s sun, Namibian waters and Namibian land.
“All these are valuable resources which the project cannot do without. But it seems as if the Swapo government failed to attach value to these critical resources that count significantly to the viability of the project,” he said.

Kavekotora added that nowhere are the values of these resources taken into consideration as input values.

“Swapo is now buying our own resources. Why are these resources zero-rated? Why must taxpayers incur additional costs after such a significant input? Whoever negotiated this deal must get his head examined,” Kavekotora said.

According to Kavekotora, Swapo is allegedly either ignorant or hopelessly weak to negotiate deals of this magnitude.

“How will the project compensate for Namibian resources? This is how Namibians under this government are pushed deeper and deeper into abject poverty. Swapo has lost vision and the appetite to lead this Nation to prosperity,” he added.

He said this is a manifestation that Swapo think that Namibian resources are not for Namibia, as articulated by president Hage Geingob.

“The so-called developed countries must also stop encroaching on our resources in a similar fashion as during the colonial era. They owe their country’s development to African resources and those days are gone,” Kavekotora added.

Kavekotora said the government must enjoy the ride while it lasts, but it won’t be for long.

“Investors in this project must stop these illicit ways of doing business in Africa and demonstrate a degree of honesty in their dealings. Offer the 24% free to Namibians based on the resources that Namibia offered to make this project viable,” he said.

The Namibian reported that green hydrogen commissioner James Mnyupe has defended the 24% stake, saying the proposed equity participation at cost, as opposed to free equity or a profit share, has the advantage that it does not increase the cost of equity capital for investors.

“All else being equal, if Namibia had demanded a 24% free equity stake, incoming investors would have to generate a 33% higher return to achieve the same outcome and consequently Namibia’s hydrogen projects would be more expensive and less attractive to investors,” he said.