10 September 2017

Cameroon: Time to Sit Up!


It is appalling and very embarrassing that Cameroon; a country battling to close its developmental and infrastructural gaps, underutilises its Public Investment Budget (PIB). Even more disturbing is the fact that the execution rate of projects, especially those in the road transport sector has from time to time left much to be desired. Despite efforts made by Government to overhaul the public contracts chain, several things still go wrong. Lack of a good mastery of public contracts procedures, delays in award of public contracts, corruption, incompetence and egocentric behaviors by some unscrupulous individuals are to blame for the poor state of execution of the PIB. It is largely believed that the not-too-good level of financial and physical execution of projects on the Public Investment Budget is as a result of the multiple nature of the actors involved, which causes multifaceted problems. However, considering that the Head of State has a vision to make Cameroon an emerging economy by 2035; which will be in the benefit of all and sundry, it is equally incumbent on all to selflessly contribute their own quota in achieving this vision. The move by hierarchy of the Ministry of Public Works; whose competence it is to follow-up the technical execution of projects, to call its officials to order is a laudable initiative. Mindful of the fact that poor execution of PIB projects can arise from poor inspection and preparation of technical documents, it is incumbent on public works engineers and officials of control missions to timely do what is right. A common adage holds that where there is a road, development follows. Therefore, for Cameroon to achieve it much-needed emergence, the development of road infrastructures is sacrosanct. The sector is so important that no one has to take its development for granted. If every actor plays his or her role, with the fear of the Lord and a show of patriotism, then we can be sure that this year's PIB package which stands at FCFA 1,873.5 billion, and representing 36.3 per cent of the country's 2017 budget will move the country in the right direction.


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