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The Chairperson of the Public Enterprises Chief Executive Officer's Forum, Fluksman Samuehl, says for growth to be attained and for the sake of development in the country's state-owned enterprises, the heads of these institutions must be loyal to their companies and not to the appointing authorities.

Samuehl made these remarks during the opening of the Annual General Meeting of SOE CEOs being hosted in Oshakati in the Oshana Region.

The 9th Public Enterprises CEOs annual general meeting has brought together close to 57 CEOs of state-owned enterprises from across the country alongside top executives. 

The AGM also serves as a platform to enable SOE leaders to interact and learn from one another, as well as deepen cooperation to improve the lives of the Namibian people.

While acknowledging the shortcomings that led to some of the country's SOEs making headlines for the wrong reasons, Samuehl says the majority have come of age and are now well-managed with room for improvement.

"Our public enterprises have an enormous role to play in growing the economy and for service delivery in Namibia, and I can tell you that the current generation of CEOs and MDs are the best allies to achieve the Namibia we want. I commend boards of directors who have allowed executive management to innovate, take initiatives, execute plans, and bring about desired outcomes to take our countries to the next level."

Speaking on the same occasion, Secretary of Cabinet George Simataa said SOES must work together to support the business of government.

Simataa added that CEOs should learn to differentiate between government interference and intervention in the businesses of the SOEs, as it remains the main shareholder in these institutions and has to intervene when an SOE's mandate is seen to go astray.

"What will be the level of our involvement in state interventions and not state interference? I am using the word intervening instead of interference, and the people never thought at one stage they would interfere in the operation of state SOEs, but their view was that we will occasionally intervene when things are not right. So please, when they ask you, they are not interfering; they have the original idea of intervening and not interfering."

The gathering will also see employees of the SOEs competing in various sporting activities at the Oshakati Independence Stadium from Thursday until Saturday.

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Ndapanda Shuuya