17 October 2017

Cameroon: Decentralisation - Government Sets Road Mending Guide for Councils

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President Paul Biya of Cameroon

It outlines tasks and costing methodology for every road mending contract.

The Ministry of Public Works has drawn up a set of guidelines for road mending contracts which will from 2018 be implemented by local councils. The tentative 11-point specifications were examined in a meeting in the Ministry in Yaounde on Tuesday October 17, 2017. Minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi chaired the meeting. Apart from officials of the Ministry of Public Works, it was also attended by representatives of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, the Ministry of Public Contracts and the Ministry of Finance.

The guidelines include rules of engagement for contracts for the clearing of unwanted grass and trees on roadsides, cleaning of drainage systems, replacement of traffic signs, cleaning of sidewalks, clearing of pits, restoration of safety slides among others. The Minister said the major innovation is that the guide outlines the various tasks contractors would be carrying out along every road and payment methods. This is contrary to the previous seven-point specifications which permitted allocation of a global fund based on the length of the road (in kilometres). He also noted that the paying counter will be the National Road Fund, otherwise known as CONAROUTE. "It is important that when responsibilities are transferred to councils, resources should also be transferred," Minister Nganou Djoumessi said.

It was agreed during the meeting that another gathering will be organised at the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, MINATD, for validation of the document drawn up by the Public Works Ministry. Minister Nganou Djoumessi noted the MINATD meeting is important especially as mayors who are directly involved in the implementation of the guide will have the opportunity to make proposals for possible fine-tuning. It was also decided that the final draft should be tabled before the Minister of Public Works by the end of the month for signature.

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