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Contractor Comes Under Fire For Poor Construction Works 

By Elvis Tah

A contractor, Ndota Enterprise, came under fire during the 2011 second quarter meeting of the Southwest Regional Follow-up of Public Investment Budget that held August 4 in Buea. Members accused Ndota Enterprise, which won the contract to construct Finance buildings in various Divisions in the Region, of consistently doing bad work.

The members decried the fact that, in spite of the poor execution, the enterprise continues to gain more juicy contracts, supposedly, because the contractor, a certain Madame Parfait, is an executive of the Southwest branch of Circles of Friends of Cameroon, CERAC.

The committee members urged the powers-that-be to always consult them, who are in the field, before awarding contracts because, they are better placed to tell which contractor is proficient to do a good job, judging from past experiences. Another issue was the fact that, in spite of repeated calls by the committee, some contracts in the Region were still being supervised from Yaounde.

A case in point, mentioned by one of the members, was the construction of the 2 km stretch of road in Kumba, which, he said, the mission that controls the road construction company, SATOM, reports but to Yaounde, whereas there is a Regional Delegate of Public Works in the Southwest.

Worse still, the members held that two vehicles assigned to the control mission, which were supposed to be used by the Southwest Public Works Delegate, are now under the care of the Director of Roads at the Ministry of Public works in Yaounde.

This, according to some of the participants, leaves them with the impression that the Southwest Regional Delegate of Public Works is just a puppet.  According to the committee report, out of 449 projects earmarked for the Southwest for the 2011 fiscal year, estimated at FCFA 5,429,732,000, only 14.82 percent were engaged, giving a physical execution rate of 28.04 percent.

However, the Chairman of the Committee, Adolf Ngale Namme, said he was going to compile all the reports concerning the projects and submit to hierarchy.

“We are going to draw the attention of the hierarchy to the case of the Ndota Enterprise, who did very poor jobs in the construction of the Finance structures,” he said, adding that, “the Tenders Board has just awarded the contracts and the contractors are yet to begin their jobs, reasons why we have only 28 percent rate of execution.”

The Regional Delegate of Planning and Regional Development, Ivo Esseke Bende, said the procedure of contract awards and the timeframe were supposed to be respected, reason why there were slight delays. He said most of the projects have been awarded and some contractors have already started, while others are getting set to start.

On the projects that were supposedly abandoned, like the road from Turborg Junction right down to Sasse; the road from Bokova to Buea Town and the Bokwaongo Health Centre, he said the projects were not abandoned but were simply not completed by the end of 2010 [even though they were said to have been received].

Observers hold that often times, authorising officers and delegates who are supposed to attend the Participatory Follow-up meetings send but representatives and, at times, without copies of their reports.

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