COVID-hit Namibia makes second bid to auction off fisheries quota

NAMIBIA’S government will have a second go at auctioning off part of its horse mackerel fish quota to raise money for its coronavirus-hit coffers after the first sale flopped, a prospectus showed yesterday.

The ministries of finance and fisheries were inviting bids for a June 18 auction of the 87,500 metric tonne quota of the country’s horse mackerel fisheries normally reserved for state-owned Fishcor, the paper said.

“The purpose of the auction is to raise revenue for government expenditure,” finance ministry spokesman Tonateni Shidhudhu said.

Namibia’s first auction staged in August last year was a disappointment after bidders stumped up barely 1.3% of the $38 million offers accepted.

At the time, the government blamed speculators. This time, the prospectus said, bidders are expected to produce a bank guarantee that will serve as a commitment to settle the amount payable once their bids are successful.

Bids must be in multiples of 100 metric tonne with a minimum price of 3,000 Namibian dollars ($213.34) per metric tonne of freezer fish and 750 Namibian dollars per metric tonne of wet fish, the prospectus seen by Reuters said.

The auction results will be announced mid-July, it added.

Namibia has recorded just over 51,000 COVID-19 infections and around 700 deaths, but the pandemic’s impact on the local economy has been brutal.

Last month, Namibia received its first-ever funds from the International Monetary Fund to address the country’s deteriorating fiscal position which has been worsened by the COVID-19.



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