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Buea DO Worried About Delays In Fencing His Residence 

By Francis Tim Mbom
The Divisional Officer, DO, for Buea, Paul Wokam Kouam, is worried about delays in constructing a fence around his official residence in Buea.
Wokam Kouam vented his worries on Thursday, April 12, during the first meeting of the Fako Public Investment Projects Follow Up Committee meeting.

Pushed by the volatile security situation currently reigning in the Northwest and Southwest Regions, Kouam sauntered to Limbe to attend the Follow Up meeting for his very first time.
“I have a problem with regards to the construction of a fence around my residence. I am worried taking into consideration the nature of the fence which is of a security one…I expected that by now they would have started something….But the work is yet to start,” Kouam told the Committee.

The Chairperson of the Follow up Committee, Hon. Gladys EtombiIkome, assuaged Kouam’s fears. “Please, just be patient. In a week’s time, the work will start.”
The Chairperson thanked the DO for having taken time to be part of the meeting.

Shecalled on the DO not only to stop at the follow up of his fencing project, but to also help the Committee in following up other projects across his Subdivision.
The DO’s help was especially being sought because the Committee found out that the execution of projects in the Division, especially projects below FCFA 5 million that the Government, under the decentralisation programme, has entrusted to councils, were very slow.

The Chairperson blamed the non-start of the award of these contracts on Mayors. Many other stakeholders during the meeting also heaped blames on Fako Mayors whom they accused of offering very little or no collaboration with officials of the technical ministries in charge of the execution of these projects such as the Ministry of Public Works, MINMAP among others.
But a representative of the Mayor of Muyuka Council said the problem was stemming from the fact that most of the said technical assistance have tended to put bribe as an obligation for the Councils to give them before they are invited to come to the field.
The role of these State engineers is to ensure that the projects executed by the councils from the decentralisation programme met the technical specifications and quality required by the State.
On his part, the Divisional Delegate of the Ministry of Public Contracts, Martin Mbeng, told the press that one of the reasons slowing down the execution of some of the Public Investment Projects was related to the Anglophone Crisis, which has financially handicapped some of the councils as well as what he called the “non-enthusiastic manner of some of the contractors.”

He added that the insecurity situation in the Anglophone Regions was also scaring away some of the contractors, reason why some of the projects were still pending award or execution.
“Many of our contractors, today, are not enthusiastic to come for contracts…You and I know that there has been the Anglophone Crisis in the two Regions…A contractor will not want to come and execute a project and not be paid within the period he was expecting,” Mbeng said.

He nevertheless, said that they were confident that in the next one week, most of their contracts will be handed out to contractors.

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