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Schlettwein wants ministry budget utilised, not returned

Written by on April 23, 2024

Agriculture, water and land reform minister Calle Schlettwein does not want money returned to the treasury due to budget under expenditures.

This comes after the media recently reported on the ministry returning money to the treasury that was meant to carry out ministerial projects.

“Therefore, I would not be happy to hear money [is] returned to the treasury, as by doing so, we are robbing our people of much-needed services,” Schlettwein said.

He added that most of the returned funds are linked to unfilled budgeted positions and the slow execution of the annual procurement plan.

“Therefore, I would like to highlight the need to expedite filling the budgeted and cleared positions. A cumbersome procurement process should not be the reason for under-expenditure. We should be able to transform and innovate to ensure a smooth procurement process,” he said.

In July last year, The Namibian reported that the agriculture ministry returned N$98 million meant for the Department of Land Reform to the treasury.

This was according to the ministry’s audited financial report for 2021/22.

Earlier this month, it was again reported that the budget allocated to the Department of Water Affairs in the ministry was underspent by N$35,1 million in the financial year ended 31 March 2023.

This is contained in a report by auditor general Junias Kandjeke.

The funds could have been used to address pressing water challenges in the country.

Last week, The Namibian reported again that at least 10 divisions within the Department of Agriculture and Land Reform have returned over N$109 million to the treasury due to unfilled vacant positions.

This happened despite the country’s soaring unemployment rate, which sees graduates jobless.

Kandjeke says these funds could have been used for other projects.

The post Schlettwein wants ministry budget utilised, not returned appeared first on The Namibian.

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