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Public investment projects : NWR records lowest execution rate

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Members of the Regional Follow-Up Committee of Public Investment projects PIP in the North West Region have noted with dismay the low rate of execution of projects which according to them is blamed on the Anglophone crisis.

This was during the 2020 First Semester Regional Participatory Follow-Up Committee meeting that held recently in Bamenda to evaluate the execution of public investment projects of the region.

Mid-way gone in the year, committee members noted that the North West region has so far recorded 10.2% and 7.3% physical and financial executions respectively.

Chairing the session, the chairperson of the Follow-Up Committee, Hon. Wallang Richard Ebua affirmed that the committee whose mission is to ensure that projects are done qualitatively and sustainably is now faced with bitter truth of low execution rates of projects as a result of the Anglophone crisis and insecurity.

“However, I call on stakeholders in the execution chain to be determined, defy the odds and have projects executed. The region was awarded 559 projects worth 9, 361,266,000FCFA for the 2020 financial year. The North West Region that has always been congratulated by the Ministry of Economy and the national follow-up committee as the best region in project execution and budget tracking was ranked at the 2019 financial year.

The award authorities need to adopt local solutions to resolving local problems by integrating local contractors who already have an idea on the difficulties in executing projects in the North West Region respecting the public contract code. It will go a long way to improve unemployment and get our brothers engaged in the work too’’ he explained.

For his part, the North West Regional Delegate of Economy, Planning and Regional Development, HRH Fotsop Dorminic Asaah, acknowledged  that “We are mid-way gone into the Financial Year but are still optimistic that there will be improvements. The transition within councils put a hold to the award of contracts as now Mayors needed time to acquaint themselves with the award procedure, difficulty with financial liquidity and insecurity resulted in this low execution rate of projects for the region” the Delegate explained.

Some contractors who opted for anonymity explained that late payment of bills is another hindrance in projects execution.

“The delay in the payment of bills after a project has been executed causes problems between contractors and material suppliers who think money has been paid and we deliberately do not want to pay them. The settling of separatist fighters in remote areas before the execution of projects are some of the reasons why there is low execution rate for the regions” one contractor noted.

The chairperson of the Regional Follow-Up Committee Hon. Wallang Richard revealed that amidst the challenges, a congratulatory letter was received from the Minister Delegate at the Presidency in Charge of Public Contracts for a positive change in the execution rate and from the National Anti-Corruption Committee (CONAC) for transparency.

In order to improve on the execution rate of projects, it was recommended that financial houses ensure payment is made available to contractors in difficulty, heads of services involved in the award and execution process act is facilitators and not barriers and local contractors be awarded contract because they have a mastery of the terrain with the crisis at hand.

Despite the challenges contractors go through in executing their projects, the Follow-Up Committee hailed EDGE Construction Company Ets Sama Roge Company and Mike Smith Company for defying the odds and doing their jobs.

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