Three-year Emergency Plan: 800 Low-cost Housing Project Still Feet-dragging

The projects to construct 100 low-cost housing in eight regional capitals within the framework of the triennial emergency plan are less than 50 per cent completed albeit exhausted deadlines.

In 2015, President Paul Biya launched the Three-year Emergency Plan (PLANUT) aimed at accelerating growth. The plan that entailed a huge investment of FCFA 925 billion prioritised seven areas of national life amongst which the construction of some 800 low-cost homes in some eight regional headquarters excluding the Centre and Littoral Regions. The projects to construct the low-cost housing scheme estimated at over FCFA 40 billion were launched in various sites in the regional capital concerned in 2016 with a one year deadline given to contractors to deliver. Two years after, overall execution rate according to statistics of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development is less than 50 per cent. In fact, as at March 2018, the execution rate was sluggishly at 40 per cent as was revealed by Minister Jean Claude Mbwentchou during the March Cabinet meeting chaired by the Prime Minister. Apart from the Ebolowa site that is almost completed with over 95 per cent realisation, the rest are still below 50 per cent. In Garoua, North Region, the execution rate is around 42 per cent against 102 per cent time consumed. Report say after the recent inspection visit of the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Public Contracts, Abba Sadou, the enterprise has increased labour force from 148 to 280 in order to meet up with the September 14, 2018 new deadline. At the Bamenda Mile 5 construction site, the Minister of Housing and Urban Development was dismayed during his recent supervisory visit to the site with just 16 per cent execution rate, the lowest so far. In utter anger, he instructed that the project must be completed in four months. A similar slow execution rate of 30 per cent hunts the Bafoussam (Kouekong) site which welcomed Minister Mbwentchou a fortnight ago. Maroua and Bertoua are above 40 per cent while Buea is also feet-dragging with work hovering between 25-30 per cent. The hydrological factor of some sites as well as insecurity in some parts of the country are blamed for the snail pace of work. Prime Minister and Head of Government, Philemon Yang instructed that works on the various sites be accelerated in a bid to deliver on time. He also requested the concerned Ministry to draw up a commercialisation strategy for the low-cost housing projects.

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