Cameroon: Batchenga-Ntui-Yoko-Lena Road - Minister Sanctions Construction Firm

Elevolution Engenharia S.A (Elevo) constructing Stretch 2 (Ntui-Mankim) of the road has had its contract cancelled over performance deficiency.

A Portuguese construction engineering company, Elevolution Engenharia S.A (Elevo) constructing Stretch 2 (Ntui-Mankim) of the Batchenga- Ntui-Yoko-Lena road has been sanctioned for performance deficiency. On October 4, 2019, the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi cancelled Elevo's contract on the 96.7km-long stretch. The company has also been barred from running for any public contract in the country for a period of two years. According to the disciplinary decision made public by the Minister, Elevo had earlier been warned in August for its poor performance in executing the construction of the road. In March 2019 when Minister Nganou Djoumessi lastly paid an inspection visit on the National Road No. 15 (Batchenga-Ntui-Yoko-Lena-Tibati), he observed that work on the Ntui- Mankim stretch had not evolved as expected, two years after. Back then, preparatory works by the construction firm stood at 22.38 per cent and the installation of the firm's base at 16.67 per cent. Total execution rate stood at just 4.56 per cent for works which began in 2017 and are expected to end in 2020. "The mobilisation of the construction firm is not good at all. The company is not doing well. This is an unfortunate situation," the Minister frowned.

The government will, through an insurance guarantee subscribed to Zenithe Insurance, recover all funds pumped into the project. A start-up payment of over FCFA 9 billion had already been paid to Elevo, the Minister noted. Elevo will also pay for all damages and bear the cost of the replacement of the company. A new company will be contracted to replaced the sanctioned firm on Stretch 2, while Elevo will continue working on Stretch 3 (Mankim-Yoko). It should be recalled the construction of the 380.1km-long Batchenga- Ntui-Yoko-Lena-Tibati highway is part of the first phase of government's Support Programme for the Transport Sector and cost over FCFA 360 billion. The road's main target is to link the Center and Adamawa Regions in order to improve transport conditions and the circulation of people and goods. This infrastructure will boost trade and consolidate Cameroon's position in the Central African sub-region. It will reduce travel distance between the north and south of the country by over 200km once its completed. It is jointly sponsored by the African Development Bank Group, French Development Agency, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Development Bank of Central African States and the Government of Cameroon.

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