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Alweendo told to apologise for ‘entitlement’ remark

Written by on April 30, 2024

The Namibia Local Business Association (Naloba) wants the minister of mines and energy, Tom Alweendo, to retract certain remarks he made during the Namibia International Energy Conference (NIEC) last week, and to apologise publicly to all Nambians.

Naloba president Erastus Shapumba says Alweendo insulted the nation by saying Nambians should not feel entitled to natural resources such as oil and gas, but should rather work hard and be competitive.

“This statement is not only threatening, but also insulting and embarrassing, because every Namibian is entitled to the country’s natural resources as per the law,” Shapumba says.

He says the statement has embarrassed Namibians in the face of foreign investors.

“Naloba appeals to Tom Alweendo to apologise and retract his statement within seven days after the press release,” Shapumba says in a statement.

Naloba spokesperson Marius Nangolo says Alweendo’s statement is unpatriotic, because it is contrary to article 100 of the Constitution, which protects the sovereign ownership of natural resources.

Nangolo says the Constitution provides that “natural resources below and above the surface of the land and in the continental shelf and within the territorial waters and the exclusive economic zone of Namibia shall belong to the state if they are not otherwise lawfully owned”.

“The minister shouldn’t buy face with foreign investors, but should rather uphold the provisions of the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the country,” he says.

Nangolo says this statement does not represent all Namibians.

Alweendo at the conference told local entrepreneurs “nobody owes them anything” and that they should guard against a sense of entitlement.

He also said Namibia should consider countries which have been successful in the oil and gas industry as benchmarks.
He said Namibians should accept personal responsibility for their successes or failures.

“Entitlement is the belief that I deserve something without making sure I deserve it,” he said.

The president of the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bisey /Uirab, says for Namibian businesses to participate in the oil and gas sector they need to understand what opportunities are available.

“Upstream the skills that are needed are technical, however, downstream there are other opportunities, such as providing transport, food and accommodation,” he says.

/Uirab says it is important to see what capacity businesses have for meeting the sector’s demand.

“We need to see how we can train Namibians, and should also identify where the opportunities to upskill ourselves are,” he says.

The post Alweendo told to apologise for ‘entitlement’ remark appeared first on The Namibian.

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