By Yerima Kini Nsom
The Minister of Public Contracts, Abba Sadou, has asserted that Cameroon cannot meet its projected vision 2035 with abandoned projects by unscrupulous contractors.
He made the remark to the press shortly after sanctioning some 122 companies that have been unable to execute their contracts for many years. By virtue of the Ministerial decision issued recently, many of the companies will not have anything to do with public contracts for a period of two years.
Remarking that the companies virtually stood on the way to the country’s development, the Minister said they abandoned contracts ranging from roads, classrooms, to health centres and other construction projects. To him, such abandoned projects were a big impediment to the country’s ambition to attain emergence by 2035.
The Minister’s sledgehammer fell on one company, NAZACAM for abandoning the project for the rehabilitation of the Laquintinie Hospital Mortuary in Douala. For many years, the company also failed to rehabilitate the Mbouassoum-Moangwekang road as well as the construction of the Nkongsamba III Council in the Littoral Region.
The South Region is hard hit by the phenomenon given that over 60 projects have been abandoned since 2013. The Minister suspended one company, CIE Angelique, for failing to construct a public works building in Akonolinga, in the Nyong and Mfoumou Division in the Centre Region.
The Minister’s disciplinary axe also fell on ETS DEGO Company for abandoning a contract for the construction of four classrooms in the North Region. The UCS enterprise had the same fate for failing to construct a farmers’ warehouse in Bascheo in the North. Many contractors were equally suspended for failing to execute projects in the West, Northwest and Southwest Regions.
The Ministry of Public Contracts itself was a victim of such unscrupulous behaviour. The construction of the Ministry’s Divisional Delegation of the Mayo Banyo in the Adamawa Region remained on paper as the contractor kept on procrastinating.
The East Region also suffered from the non construction of classrooms, boreholes and other projects designed to provide social amenities to the local inhabitants.
The Minister’s heavy axe came after that of the Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi. He recently cancelled the contracts of over 30 road maintenance enterprises for either poor execution or delay in execution.
The Minister said the enterprises’ failure to execute the contracts rendered many roads all over the country impassable. Due to lack of maintenance, the major highways in the county are in an advanced state of degradation. Tarred roads are virtually a network of potholes that continue to expand into yawning craters.
It was reported that many local enterprises that are awarded contracts lack the technical know-how to execute them. Experts hold that many of them lack up-to-date equipment to do the jobs.
Observers are wondering why very important contracts are awarded to companies that are not qualified. It is on this premise that many people believe that, despite efforts, the award of contracts is still mired in corrupt practices.
The Post learned that one enterprise that deals with decoration, beauty and aesthetics was offered a road maintenance contract. For many years, The Post was informed, the enterprise was unable to execute the contract. Many of such cases abound in the country that is facing so many development challenges. Some observers have warned that, if special measures are not taken, Cameroon will soon be seen negatively in the limelight as a citadel of poorly executed and abandoned projects.