Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

29 May 2014

Cameroon: PM Instructs Speed Up of Road Projects

press release

Below is the press release following the 16th session of the National Road Board of May 27, 2014.

The Prime Minister, Head of Government, Mr YANG Philemon, Chairman of the National Road Board (CONAROUTE), today Tuesday, 27 May 2014 as from 11:00 a.m., chaired the 16th session of the Board in the main building of his Office. In attendance, apart from his close aides, were the statutory members of the Board as well as specially invited personalities including the Government Delegates to the Bamenda and Ebolowa City Councils.

The session was devoted mainly to: (i) assessing the implementation progress of 2013 programmes; and (ii) considering FY 2014 programmes for validation.

In his opening statement, the Chairman of the Board drew the attention of contracting Authorities on the need to optimize resources allocated for road infrastructure construction, rehabilitation and maintenance works. He asked them to resort to direct labour for minor works and to look for strategies to reduce the cost of road inputs such as aggregates and reinforcing steel. He also recommended the use of approved, much cheaper surfacing products such as ROCAMIX, CARBONCOR and CON-AID/CBR PLUS.

With regard to the progress of 2013 programmes, the Board's assessment was that the rate of implementation was satisfactory overall. This was evidenced in the completion of major projects such as the rehabilitation and public lighting of the Nsam-Obobogo-rails stretch of road; the construction of the 50th Anniversary Avenue at Omnisport; development of a path for climbing Mount Djoumbal in Adamawa Region; the development of an access road to Mount Don i Tison in Centre Region; and the development of an access road to the banks of River Benoue.

With regard to accessibility of production basins, the Ministry in charge of agriculture contributed to open 44 km of farm-to-market and agricultural feeder roads; rehabilitate 106 km of farm-to-market and agricultural feeder roads; and construct and rehabilitate 13 crossing structures for a total cost of CFAF 903 million. As concerns the implementation of the road programmes of bodies supervised by this Ministry, 6,821 km of farm-to-market and feeder roads were maintained.

Besides, urban road maintenance and rehabilitation works progressed significantly in some towns, including Douala, Yaoundé, Galim-Tignère, Ayos, Gari-Gombo, Mbang, Pette, Dizangue, Beka, Bazou, Bangourain, Lokoundje, Bangem and Kombo-Itindi. Three funding agreements have also been signed for a number of major projects including the Kumba-Mamfe road, funded by ADB and BDEAC, and the Sangmelima-Djoum road, funded by the Saudi Development Fund. Since its inception in 2011, the operation aimed at controlling, supervising and punishing road offences has helped to scale down the number of fatal road accidents to less than 30% and fetched CFAF 1,038,800,900 into the State Treasury

MIPROMALO, MATGENIE and LABOGENIE also provided institutional support and technical expertise. These include the geotechnical supervision of construction works on the second bridge over River Wouri, the geotechnical supervision of construction works on the Mengong-Sangmélima, Obala-Batchenga-Bouam, Nandéké-Mbéré-Ngaoundéré, Bachuo-Akagbé-Mamfé roads as well as the access road to the Mekin dam; the signing of technical assistance agreements with some contracting authorities, support to SMEs through equipment leases; and the organization of capacity-building sessions for staff of some Government departments.

Partnership agreements were signed with some public institutional stakeholders of the infrastructure sector. Furthermore, modules on the promotion of local materials were inserted in the training programmes for auditors of the National Advanced School of Public Works and Public Works Professional Training Centres.

To date, the implementation of many ongoing projects is advanced - installation of video-surveillance systems in some streets of Yaoundé; operationalizing of regional highways and traffic brigades; putting in place of a system of removal of obstacles and broken-down vehicles on the Yaoundé-Douala-Bafoussam-Yaoundé highways; launching of procedures for the procurement of crushing stations; installation of a GPS-based speed-tracking system on inter-urban roads; development of access roads to the low-cost housing sites at Olembe; construction maintenance works on the East entrance road in Yaoundé (Mimboman-Yaoundé) ; rehabilitation of Biyem-Assi district roads; curative maintenance works at some critical points in Douala (Nyalla- Bassa Gare-Wouri Bridge entrance) and rehabilitation of the National Comprehensive College junction-Middle farm road in Limbe.

Under the Road Fund's Investment and Maintenance Window, over CFAF 123 billion were disbursed to various authorizing officers. In the same vein, the CFAF 352.7 billion mobilized by the Ministry of Public Works in 2013 allowed for the construction of 196 km of tarred roads and the rehabilitation of 148 km as well as 1,500 km of rural roads; the maintenance of 7,800 km of main roads, 3,286 km of tarred roads, 500 km of priority rural roads and the follow-up of close to 2,300 road projects.

Proceedings continued with the consideration and validation of FY 2014 programmes including: the rehabilitation of the Nsimeyong-Carrefour Olympique road stretch in Yaounde; the intensification of sensitization and road safety actions; the northerly extension of the Boulevard de la République in Douala; the development of some road junctions in Douala (Déido-Bessengue-Camp Yabassi-Agip and Saint-Michel roundabouts); the geotechnical supervision of works to open up production basins; the grant of official approval of standards for using local materials; the opening of 215 Km of farm-to-market and feeder roads and construction of 23 crossing structures; the construction of the access road of the Douala Gynaeco-obstetrical Hospital; the construction of the Yaoundé-Nsimalen motorway, as well as the rehabilitation of roads in some secondary towns including Abong-Mbang, Bafia, Banyo, Foumban, Nkongsamba, Kye-Ossi, Fundong and Yabassi.

The Ministry of Public Works announced the development of the East and West entry roads to Douala, as well as construction works of the second bridge over River Wouri and the first ten sections of the Yaounde-Douala motorway. As part of decentralization, the Minister for Housing and Urban Development transferred CFAF 840 million to 17 councils; CFAF 40 million under C2D financing have been allocated to various works in the towns of Bafoussam, Garoua and Bertoua.

At the end of these statements and ensuing discussions, the Board noted the constraints raised by contracting authorities and delegated contracting authorities in the implementation of road projects particularly irresponsible behaviour by some road users. The remedial measures proposed include the strengthening of the legal arsenal for punishing road offences, the alignment of timeframes for study and procurement procedures with the implementation schedule of road projects; and the acceleration of the computerization of tollgates.

Specifically, the Chairman of the Road Board instructed inter alia:

ü the Minister for Housing and Urban Development, to speed up the completion of ongoing projects and ensure that new works with already awarded contracts start up promptly;

The Minister for the Economy, Planning and Regional Development:

- to liaise with the Minister for Finance, the Minister for Public Works and the Minister for Urban Development to speed up the rehabilitation of MATGENIE, by effectively implementing the provisions of its business plan to boost engineering equipment supply;

- to continue working closely with all stakeholders, to strengthen the operational capacities of local and regional authorities by actually implementing the project to procure civil engineering equipment for local councils;

The Minister for Transport, to optimize the mechanism for removal of obstacles and broken-down vehicles on the Yaoundé-Douala-Bafoussam-Yaounde triangle roads;

The Minister for Public Works, to liaise with the Minister for Urban Development and the Minister for Territorial Administration, to assess the relevance of establishing LABOGENIE nationwide, through the creation of regional branches;

ü the Minister for Finance, to finalize the study on the sustainability of Road Fund resources and its transformation into a second-generation Road Fund by instituting an effective mechanism for collecting and managing resources;

ü to the Minister-Delegate at the Presidency of the Republic in charge of Public Contracts, to liaise with contracting authorities and delegated contracting authorities and submit to him relevant proposals for optimizing procurement procedures for road infrastructures, factoring in the seasonal nature of the related works.

All Contracting Authorities:

- to capitalize on the expertise of LABOGENIE and MIPROMALO in constructing road infrastructure and/or manufacturing approved, less costly road inputs;

- to make full use of all novelties offered by Decree No. 2014/0004/PM of 16 January 2014 defining the terms and conditions for the financing of direct labour works by the Road Fund and Decree No. 2014/0521/PM of 19 March 2014 to regulate interventions pertaining to roads and other networks in urban areas;

The Board session wrapped up after consideration of sundry issues linked to the national road policy.

Proceedings were adjourned at 1:35 p.m./-

Yaounde, 27 May 2014

MOTAZE Louis Paul,

Secretary-General of the

Prime Minister's Office

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