Road Infrastructure: Clearing Projects Maturity Obstacles

The 23rd session of the National Road Board (CONAROUTE) took place in Yaounde on November 10, 2020 with the objective of clearing hurdles that impede execution of projects.

Prime Minister, Head of Government, Joseph Dion Ngute who is also the Chairperson of the National Road Board (CONAROUTE) presided at the 23rd session of the board on November 10, 2020. The objective was to seek ways of clearing projects maturity hurdles, heaviness and approximate mastery of contracting procedures as well as constraints inherent in mobilising  finances for the road infrastructure.

It was the first CONAROUTE session Prime Minister Dion Ngute chaired considering that the last one took place on May 24, 2018. It was equally the first one attended by Antoine Essomba Etoundi in his capacity as the new Permanent Secretary of CONAROUTE following his appointment in May 2020.

Prime Minister Dion Ngute in his opening statement in the session that took place through videoconferencing said it was holding on the theme, “Maturity of road projects, cornerstone in road infrastructure development strategy in Cameroon.” The theme, he said, was chosen to respond to the many challenges and stakes in the socio-economic development of the country through the national road policy. The session took place within the framework of some progress. In terms of legislation, the Prime Minister cited the modernisation of contracting of road projects thanks to the reform of the State Public Contracts Code and  putting in place of a special payment mechanism through anticipation to compensate people affected by road projects. With regard to the execution of projects, he enumerated projects that have already been received to include Djoum-Mintoum Road (Phase 1), Ndop-Kumbo road, Kumba-Nfaintock (Mamfe) section 1, and the Yonko-Lena road. He also cited some bridge projects already received that are the bridges over Rivers Mape, Mvi, second Bridge of the Wouri River and that over the Sanaga at Nachtigal. There has also been the securing of process to obtain and issue driving licences, technical checks on vehicles, fix radars on National Road No. 3 (Yaounde-Douala) operational and the putting in place of the operation to clear roads from wrongly parked vehicles.

Despite the progress, some road projects face execution difficulties. This therefore calls for the continuous reflection on laws to regulate particularly, the national road heritage, road safety, categorising enterprises for building construction and public works and finally the functioning of the second generation Road Fund.  The Prime Minister also mentioned some road projects that have difficulties kicking off or  to be completed. The salient ones included the motorways such as Yaounde-Douala, Yaounde-Nsimalen and Edea-Kribi-Lolabe. Other road projects include Babadjou-Bamenda, Mora-Dabanga-Kousseri, Sangmelima-Ouesso, Mengong-Sangmelima among others. Urban road projects to link stadia in Douala, Yaounde, Bafoussam and Garoua also fall in the same category.

The Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi talked on the theme technical studies at the heart of the process of maturing road projects and his counterpart of Public Contracts, Ibrahim Talba Malla  talked on the theme, “contracting engineering in the life cycle of road projects.”

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