NAMIBIA – The finance ministry has appointed the deputy governor of the Bank of Namibia, Ebson Uanguta, as the Namibia Revenue Agency’s interim chief executive officer, reports the Namibian.

Making the announcement, finance minister Calle Schlettwein said, “I am pleased to announce that we have been assisted by the Bank of Namibia by making available the deputy governor to be appointed as the commissioner of NamRa.”

Uanguta’s secondment will be for six months until March 2020 to allow the commissioner, together with the board to develop a structure for the agency and recruit staff.

Schlettwein this month said the names of shortlisted candidates were submitted to Cabinet for approval and was hoping the ministry would get that soon, but it appears that Cabinet did not approve any of the shortlisted candidates and opted for Uanguta instead.

“The interviewed candidates did not meet the cut. We require a certain standard, but the candidates we got did not meet it,” the minister reiterated.

The position will be re-advertised, and open to even international candidates to ensure that the entity gets the appropriate candidate.

Uanguta has over 18 years experience as an economist.

He holds a masters of science degree in economics from the Addis Ababa University, was a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

He has previously worked as a researcher at the Namibia Economic Policy Research Unit (Nepru) as well as adviser to the executive director at the International Monetary Fund.

The deputy governor will go back to his position at the central bank after six months, after the ministry recruits the commissioner.

Schlettwein said while he agrees that there have been delays, “the process is complicated because tax collection cannot be interrupted.

“We have to have the systems running until the last day, and on the same day switch over to the NamRa system, which will take over as the Receiver of Revenue of Namibia”.

He added that the government remains committed to bringing NamRa online within the current financial year.

Schlettwein said Uanguta will have the same power as a commissioner, as accorded to him by the Revenue Agency Act.

Some of his duties as the interim CEO will be to formulate and transmit to the board the strategic plan, internal policies, business plan, management systems, budget proposals and the budget execution report for guidance and approval.