For years now the Namibian society had accepted that the life of a director is a good life. Actually, life as a director for a Namibian parastatal is a great life. Astronomical salaries, car and housing allowance and lavish privileges are part of a ‘normal’ package for any of the corporate executive officers. And to sweeten the deal, the package is not necessarily linked to performance. To put it simply; you can perform poorly and even steer the organization towards bankruptcy but you will continue to reap the benefits of your position. Well, not any more.
Recently the government introduced a new standardized salary scheme for all the bosses of state owned enterprises. Yippie! They will still get high salaries within a specific range and benefits for the post. In the new system they will need to fulfill certain organizational objectives and outputs to get a bonus. The bonus amount is 35% of the salary but I expect that it depends on whether the director/CEO was able to reach all his set outputs. In this way, all these big bosses will not take the bonus for granted but will need to work hard and ensure deliverables. This will certainly result in a higher performance of parastatals. Ultimately, this practice should see Namibia moving away from chronic overspending by corporations such as Air Namibia which require bailouts from the government. The process has begun and a oversight committee is being formalized.
In similar news; All government ministers, upon appointment, are given specific Terms of Reference by the president which are used to assess their performance. A local newspaper has called on the president to release these ToRs in order to encourage transparency and accountability. It will really be good to see these contracts so that the nation can help to monitor our ministers’ progress.
Needless to say, this are the times I am very proud to be a Namibian citizen.