Yes, Mr Alweendo, we don’t want oil through entitlement

By Victor Angula /

I am mostly the kind of person who has no time to sing praise songs of the Government.

Mostly I just come across as critical of the Government of Namibia. This is because when I look at what the Namibian nation has achieved during the years of Independence, I just feel that we could have done much better.

And we didn’t do better mostly because of the Government. The Government (which is the group of people who are sitting in the leadership role, who are steering the ship or piloting the aeroplane known as the republic of Namibia) are mostly sleeping on duty.

Such people deserve to be condemned and rebuked at every available opportunity.

But here is the Minister of Mines and Energy, Mr Tom Alweendo, saying that when we come closer to the newly-found riches contained in the oil discoveries on the shores of Namibia we must not come there with the mindset of entitlement.

While everyone else seems to have taken offense to the minister’s remarks, I really want to agree with Mr Alweendo.

I always take offense if anyone says to me that I am entitled or that I have tendencies of entitlement.

The basic definition of entitlement is: “wanting to receive, without working or doing anything in return, just because …”. Just because of certain reasons.

And if the minister meant to say that Namibians must not want to receive from the benefits coming from the oil discovery without them working or doing anything in return just because the oil belongs to them, then I am in with the minister.

Nobody must want to receive without doing anything, because there is nothing for nothing. It is the spirit of entitlement that has made Namibia and other African countries to be in this poverty and underdevelopment despite the vast natural resources at their disposal.

Government leaders and citizens always want to sit back and let foreign companies exploit the resources of the country, and all they do is just to expect the crumbs falling from the table in the form of jobs and taxes.

In any industry where the locals are involved, there is no spirit of excellence, industriousness and competence. There is no spirit of creating maximum value. This is why I never heard of anyone in Namibia who was fired due to incompetence. People only get recycled, getting golden handshakes as they go from one company or sector to another.

Entitled people don’t want to work and don’t want to be productive. They just want to sit back and receive handouts. Those who do work, they just work to get salaries and nobody can fire them for incompetence. In the end sectors of the economy and industries collapse.

Therefore Alweendo is right if he is saying that whoever wants to receive any benefit from the oil industry he or she must not come there because of political connections or just because he is a citizen but because he or she has capabilities and desire which can make him to contribute to the industry’s generation of maximum wealth for not only this generation but also for future generations.

He must be someone who can add value to the oil industry, so that the oil industry can add value to the nation.

Yes, Mr Alweendo, we know that the oil belongs to us, yet we don’t want to be entitled. We want to work as employees and as entrepreneurs in the oil industry and add value to it.

So now tell us how we can get that opportunity. As our representative, it’s your job to help us find the opportunities for us to get in and participate in the exploitation of our natural resources. If no way can be found, then it’s better for the oil industry to stop.

Foreigners cannot just be the ones to exploit the natural resources of Namibia, and then they go away with everything.

Either we do it together, or it must stop.

– Victor Angula is the editor of Omutumwa News Online.