6 February 2018

Cameroon: Performance-Inhibiting Factors Abound

Despite several measures put in place to ensure the optimal execution of the public investment budget, an unprecedented level of execution is yet to be achieved.

Projects within the framework of the Public Investment Budget (PIB) specifically have a strong bearing on the common tax payer. This is why over the years, government has been paying attention so that the tool (PIB) actually reduces poverty, especially in rural areas, and take the people out of suffering to a socially-acceptable level.

Despite the many steps taken by government to reform the sector and ensure the optimal execution of projects under the PIB, many hiccups are thwarting such efforts. Principal among the setbacks is the unpatriotic dealings of some stakeholders involved in the execution process. Time without number, some actors in the execution process have been found wanting in decency, manifesting bad faith by blocking files supposedly for kickbacks, oblivious of the sufferings of beneficiaries.

The late award of contracts too is an old sickness which has apparently been difficult to cure. In some cases, tender files are rejected for one reason or the other and the entire tender process repeated from crash, thereby playing negatively on the execution time. For other cases, vote holders do not transmit tender files in a timely manner to the competent authorities for the onward award of contracts.

Also, the performance of the execution of the PIB is impeded by the poor mastery of public contracts reforms and code. The situation is further compounded by the insertion of some projects in the logbook without prior feasibility studies. As a result, the cost of some projects are either over/under estimated or projects are designed for some localities where they are not needed.

The past year too for Cameroon has not been an easy one, with the socio-political tension in parts of the country. This has directly slowed the physical execution of projects especially in towns and villages where tensions are recurrent. Besides that, the difficult economic situation caused by multiple factors has made the disbursement of liquidity not as constant as possible. As such, many are contractors who cannot execute certain contracts they won because they are yet to be paid for previous ones they have executed.

Besides man-made speed breaks in project execution, the difficult nature of some terrains too play a negative role. Whether phenomena also frustrate the execution of projects.

However, since most of the problems are man-made, it will require the will of all stakeholders to dislodge setbacks to the execution of projects in the country in order to take Cameroon to emergence.

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