Namibia’s FISHCOR CEO removed, again
The Namibian government has withdrawn the appointment of Paulus Ngalangi as the acting chief executive officer of the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (FISHCOR) in a move that is likely to delay a planned restructuring of the operations of the state-owned fishing firm.
Public Enterprises minister Leon Jooste said Ngalangi, who is also been the company’s general finance manager, is alleged to have transported a South African suspected of having COVID-19, who reportedly entered Namibia under unclear circumstances, according to The Namibian.
Ngalangi, who was picked to act as FISHCOR CEO in place of Mike Nghipunya – who was suspended in December 2019 – has denied any wrongdoing in the transportation of someone suspected to have COVID-19. But his removal from office adds to a growing list of disruptions at FISHCOR that have interfered with the company’s capacity.
The abrupt change comes barely six months after former CEO Nghipunya was suspended as a result of investigations into allegations of illegal allocations of fishing quotas in Namibia.
The NAD 103 million (EUR 5.3 million USD 5.9 million) mackerel fishing rights allocation dispute, involving former FISHCOR top officials and Icelandic fishing company Samherji, has also seen two former fisheries ministers and three other government officers charged in court.
The latest move comes nearly a month after The Namibian reported the country’s cabinet had approved the termination of the 2017 partnership between FISHCOR and Angolan-based African Selection Fishing Namibia (Pty) Ltd., under which the two entities established Seaflower Pelagic Processing (Pty) Ltd (SPP) that initially operated a horse mackerel freezing factory with estimated daily capacity of 600 metric tons.
The cabinet has argued the structure of the partnership is skewed in favor of African Selection Fishing Namibia (Pty) Ltd, which reportedly owns 60 percent of SPP, and hence denies the government of Namibia the right to reap maximum benefits from its fishing industry.
FISHCOR is also expected to forfeit its fishing rights, reported to have totaled 360,000 metric tons of horse mackerel between 2014 and 2019, as the government embarks on the process of auctioning the fishing quota to generate revenue for other state-sponsored development projects, according to newly appointed Fisheries Minister Albert Kawana.
The planned auction of FISHCOR’s fishing rights is yet another indication of a possible future restructuring of the state-owned fishing company’s mandate, and enhancing its role in Namibia’s seafood industry.
Photo courtesy of Namibia's Ministry of Public Enterprises