The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform has clarified that the N$98 million allegedly returned to Treasury was never disbursed to the ministry.
In a media statement, the ministry said it is therefore incorrect for anyone to insinuate that the money would be used for corrupt activities.
The Ministry of Agriculture received a total budget of more than N$1.2 billion in the 2021–2022 financial year.
The Deputy Director in the Public Relations Division, Chrispin Matongela says the N$98 million was part of the estimated budget, but the amount was never disbursed to the Ministry as the planned activities were not carried out.
Matongela, however, acknowledged that underspending was not deliberate and that most challenges were not within the control of the Ministry.
Factors that contributed to the underspending on capital projects were the non-completion of construction works, non-responsive bidders, which resulted in the re-launch of procurement processes, and unresolved court cases on disputed bids.
Late submission of invoices for payment by service providers before the closure of the financial year is another factor.
The N$15 million not spent in the Administration department was for the recruitment of critical budgeted positions, but the ministry only managed to recruit about 60% of the vacancies.
This is because planned interviews could not be held due to COVID-19 restrictions.