As the decentralisation process enters high gear, the Ministry of Public Works has announced effective transfer of road works to local councils.
The transfer of competences to local councils within the framework of the decentralisation process will take a different dimension this year. As the President of the Republic announced in his inaugural speech for the new mandate of “Great Opportunities,” decentralisation will be accelerated in 2019. The Ministry of Public Works is thus taking a leap as it hands road maintenance works entirely to local councils. The Secretary General of the Ministry of Public Works, Urbain Noel Ebang Mve, in his presentation of 2018 activities of the ministry during the New Year wishes ceremony recently, stressed that the Ministry of Public Works is resolutely engaged to the option of transferring competences to local coun cils. Thus, municipal councils now have the arduous task of carrying out maintenance on communal roads. “The Mayors are henceforth project owners as far as communal roads are concerned,” he said. This therefore means that council’s tenders’ boards will henceforth attribute the contracts for the rehabilitation of roads in the municipalities with the Mayor as the project owner. However, the Ministry of Public Works remains the supervisor to ensure quality work is done. The role of the Ministry of Public Works as was explained by the Minister, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi is to technical accompany the local councils. The Secretary General maintained that the Ministry of Public Works transfers FCFA 12 billion annually to local councils to carry out road maintenance within the framework of the decentralisation process. In 2018, 74 contracts of road maintenance measuring a distance of 3,0528km and costing FCFA 6.424 billion were attributed by local councils. Cameroon road network stretches some 122,000km with 100,000km (83 per cent) pertaining to communal roads which are now under the competence of local councils. Public Works boss acknowledges it is a herculean task stating that the councils will be given proportionate means to execute road projects.