The Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) is not experiencing loss of membership despite the Namibia Local Businesses Association (NALOBA) which is claiming that it is breaking away from NCCI.

This was said today by NCCI chief executive officer Ms Charity Mwiya in a media statement.

Mwiya says that she is responding to false and misplaced allegations being advanced through the media by “misguided individuals and groups purporting to speak on behalf of Namibia’s business sector”.

Without mincing her words Mwiya says that: “It’s our position that NALOBA is free to pursue their agenda so long as their purpose is not to discredit NCCI. Such amateurish behavior cannot be condoned or tolerated.”

According to Mwiya there is no information indicating that the members of NALOBA were members of NCCI before breaking away to start a rival organization.

“It’s factual that this organization NALOBA and its leadership or the claimed membership are not a breakaway from NCCI. For a fact, NCCI is not experiencing loss of membership, so it is unclear where the black businesspeople are departing from. Furthermore, how is it possible for a firm to resign from an association of which it is not even a subscribing or paid-up member?

“NALOBA claims since January 2022, over 2000 members have left to join this unknown body masquerading as a business support organization. NCCI membership records reveal that of the 26 businesses who claim to have resigned from the Chamber none are currently members in good standing,” Mwiya states.

Any notion that NCCI is not working to support struggling entrepreneurs is simply not true, says Mwiya.

“Anecdotally, there are several key examples on how NALOBA founding members have received substantial support and benefits from their involvement with NCCI in the past including when subscriptions were unpaid and they were no longer members of the Chamber.

“Due to the nature of NCCI’s work as the country’s premier voice of business it is correct to say that almost all Namibian businesses have benefited from the Chamber’s work. This included among others, advocacy, and representation on economic and more broadly on business issues and concerns.

“Additionally, during the COVID lockdown period, help was rendered to firms during the tax amnesty, advice on restructuring bank loans and negotiating for payment holidays.

“As for debt servicing and relief for distressed enterprises, initiated way before the onset of the pandemic, NCCI continues to address ongoing concerns with the central bank and lending institutions.

“Further, the Chamber spearheaded the call for government to relax regulations to allow informal traders to earn livelihoods. NCCI’s COVID-19 Help Desk extended a helping hand to Hawkers and Vendors when others were silent on their plight.

“Despite resource constraints NCCI will continue to serve Business Namibia to the best of our ability. The Chamber is united in its commitment to serve the country’s private sector.

“NCCI members are responsible business entities who pay their membership dues and comply with statutory requirements pertaining to operating a business in Namibia,” NCCI’s CEO says.

 In the photo: NCCI CEO Charity Mwiya.