Decentralisation: Second Phase Transfer of Powers Discussed
The first ordinary session of the Local Services Inter-ministerial Committee for 2018 took place in Yaounde on May 18, 2018.
The decentralisation process intended to accelerate local development in Cameroon will in the near future witness the second phase of transfer of powers and accompanying resources to municipal councils and the effective putting in place of Regions.
These were some of the perspectives the members of the Local Services Inter-ministerial Committee brainstormed on and made proposals to hierarchy on May 18, 2018.
The Minister of Decentralisation and Local Development who is chairperson of the Committee, Georges Elanga Obam presided at the session.
The first session of the committee for 2018 came within the background of the creation of the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development on March 2, 2018 with the mission to accelerate the decentralisation process and enable grassroots population effectively participate in their development.
It was the first time Minister Elanga Obam chaired the session of the committee. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the session, he said, with the putting in place of the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development, the committee wanted to assess the level of advancement of the decentralisation process, how the operation of the transfer of powers and resources by the central government to local authorities was being managed, difficulties encountered, how adequate the level of financing was and how the governance of councils was able to address the issue of decentralisation.
He also said the session of the Committee targeted envisaging the second phase of the transfer of powers, identify the powers and ensure that adequate tools are given to councils to effectively meet the objective of decentralisation which is local development.
Concerning the effective putting in place of the Regions, he said the Committee had to start pre-figuring the type of powers to be transferred to Regions, the level of resources and how the regions have to be organised. All these, he said, are intended to implement the directives of the Head of State, Paul Biya during his 2018 New Year address to the Nation on December 31, 2017.
The scrutiny of the decentralisation process, Minister Elanga Obam said, indicated some key advancements. The advancements, he said, are deterred by loopholes and shortcomings such as low level of mainly financial, budgetary and human resources put at the disposal of local decentralised authorities, modalities and procedures for the award of council public contracts, lack of collaboration between some officials of State deconcentrated services and local decentralised authorities, inadequate feed-back on information relating to the exercise of powers transferred and the amount of corresponding financial resources.