The Namibian Ports Authority (Namport) has slammed as “slanderous” a report by the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) stating that its vision of becoming a logistics hub for southern Africa through the Port of Walvis Bay was “too ambitious and too costly”.
The report looked at Namport’s operational and financial figures and concluded that its ambitions were unrealistic, but outgoing CEO of Namport, Bisey Uirab, said that Namport had not been consulted before the reports were compiled and distributed.
"The author made no effort to consider Namport's input before proceeding to the presentation he made," Uirab said, pointing out that the company “always exercised the principles of cost recovery, fairness and transparency” in the pricing of Namport's services and periodic review of tariffs.
"Thus, desktop comparisons of logistics charges of the nature conducted by the writer of the reports, without due consideration of the foregoing fundamentals, are, at the least, preposterous and may at best distract from efforts to formulate mechanisms for the country to find meaningful work around these inherent challenges," he commented.
Uirab added that the report’s notes on the decline in vessel numbers was “an incorrect and superficial view of the global factors influencing the number and sizes of vessel deployment by shipping lines”.
According to him, the global shipping industry has been challenged by high operational costs, increasing competition and declining shipping rates. Therefore, the reduction in vessel calls at ports in Namibia was not driven by Namport's charge but a worldwide trend, underpinned by the drive of shipping lines to curtail their operational costs, asserted Uirab.
"While Namport remains very open and receptive to ideas and suggestions which would advance the development of our ports and their role to the nation and the region at large, it is important that such engagements are done in a manner that is inclusive of all parties' viewpoints,” he said.
SOURCE: FTW Online