Public Works Minister on November 20, held a working session with enterprises to access the progress of execution of road construction and maintenance projects ongoing in the region.
The Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi has exhorted contracting enterprises carrying out road construction or maintenance works in the East Region to tackle critical areas of the road in order to ensure roads are passable all seasons. The Public Works boss flanked by his close collaborators stated during a meeting with road construction companies executing projects in the East Region that the essential thing is to render the roads passable so as to attenuate the suffering of the population. Minister Djoumessi insisted that rain gates must be installed on earthed roads and scrupulously respected by heavy duty vehicles. Defaulters, the Public Works boss stressed, shall be severely penalised. He used the meeting to exhort the enterprises to be efficient in executing projects entrusted to them by the government. In responding to the general cry by the contracting enterprises on the non-payment of bills, the Minister said, the government takes measures for road maintenance and construction and assumes its responsibilities of payment. “There might be delays but the government will eventually pay your bills,” he stated while urging the enterprises to prove their technical and financial capability they demonstrated while bidding for the projects. The government, he said, is rationalising its resources especially with the current Economic and Financial programme with financial partners. According to the Director General of Infrastructure Works in the Ministry of Public Works, Guy Daniel Abouna Zoa, the East Region has some 22,000km of roads, amongst which are 1500km of tarred national roads and 1,600km constructed regional roads. Among the 14 road projects that came under review during Tuesday’s get-together, three were construction projects under the Three-Year Emergency Programme (PLANUT). The Mandjou-Akokan-Batouri stretch executed at 18 per cent over 40 per cent of contracting time is one of the construction works which is costing the government of Cameroon some FCFA 21.9 billion. Public Works Minister lamented that most Cameroonian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises awarded contracts in the region are based in faraway cities thereby incurring huge transportation cost as some cover over 700km from Yaounde to Yokadouma for instance.