Shiimi reveals N$627m fishing quota auction windfall
28 August 2020 | Fishing
Government has raised over N$627 million from the auctioning of its “development objectives” fishing quotas to local and international bidders.
This, according to finance minister Iipumbu Shiimi, is twice the amount that government would have raised if it had simply sold the fishing quotas at reserved prices. Successful bidders have to cough up by 31 August.
No names or countries of the successful bidders were revealed yesterday in Shiimi's statement.
Government was able to raise N$164.4 million from the 11 000 metric tonnes of hake it auctioned, N$457.7 million from its 72 000 metric tonnes of horse mackerel and N$5.4 million from its 392 metric tonnes of monk.
“In this regard, the total amount raised from the auction amounted to N$627 million, including the application fees. This is equivalent to 100% more or two times when compare to the N$315 million which could have been raised if the governmental fishing quota was sold at the reserved prices,” Shiimi said.
The decision to auction was the correct one, the finance minister added.
“As a result, it has now been proven beyond doubt that the government was right to take a decision to test the market in order to establish the true value of its fisheries resources. With this amount, we are confident that it will go a long way in funding government priority programmes such as improving sanitation, hostel facilities and other expenses exacerbated by Covid-19,” he said.
The People's Litigation Centre (PLC) had threatened to drag the fisheries ministry to the High Court to review a decision by minister Albert Kawana to auction off the fishing quotas to the highest bidders.
A petition had also been started by the Eshisha Development Organisation against the auctioning of the quotas.
Of the quotas up for grabs, 40% had been reserved wholly for local companies, while 60% was open for bids from local and international companies.
In a strongly worded letter to Kawana, which was also sent to the finance ministry, the PLC said the auction “does not support the ideals of transparency and accountability”.
“It is shocking, considering the fact that 5 176 companies that applied for fishing quotas in 2018, about two years ago, are yet to receive substantive responses.”