NHE blasts media reports as ‘irresponsible and ignorant’
WINDHOEK – National Housing Enterprise (NHE) Chief Executive Officer, Vinson Hailulu, has rubbished recent media reports about him as “irresponsible and ignorant”. The NHE boss made headlines last week with allegations of misappropriation of company funds as well as excessive spending at the expense of the corporation.
Hailulu shot down the allegations, including those of spending excessive company funds to travel outside the country, as untruthful. He said as a chairperson of a government mandated committee, he together with committee members were tasked to undertake study visits to Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa in order to draw lessons from these countries that have successfully implemented mass housing development programmes.
In addition, Hailulu said that the NHE has never bought property from NHE Board of Directors Chairperson, Jason Nandago, as alleged in the media and elaborated that NHE bought a piece of land in Walvis Bay consisting of 22 plots from Jom Renovations & Constructions CC in 2010.
Hailulu added that a significant amount had to be spent to defend the company in a legal battle that ensued following the retrenchment of some employees in 2006. “The board of directors resolved and directed [me] to defend the company in this matter,” he said, explaining that instead of giving in to a demand of N$18 million, N$2 million was used to defend the company.
On the allegation of fraud at NHE, Hailulu stated that as a general industry practice, external auditors report on possible areas of fraud and this was intended to alert management to strengthen controls on areas that auditors feel are prone to fraud. “This is a normal reporting item and does not mean that fraud exists within NHE,” he said, adding that the auditors’ report for 2012 clearly states that no fraud was discovered during their audit of the 2012 financial year.
Moreover, Hailulu highlighted that since he took over as CEO in 2005, NHE has drastically increased its investment portfolios in housing and has also got involved in servicing land en masse to necessitate speedy housing delivery in the country. “Investing in housing has increased from a mere N$16 million to N$188 million since 2005,” he said.
He added that the NHE was able to invest millions without government financial support or subsidy until the company received N$25 million from government in 2011 for the first time.
As a result of Hailulu’s satisfactory performance, Nandago confirmed that the board awarded Hailulu a performance bonus of 23 percent of his total annual package equivalent to N$249 000 for the year 2012/2013. Nandago added that the board could have awarded Hailulu 30 percent of his annual package, however he was penalised for not reaching targets set by the company.
By Lorraine Kazondovi