Three-year Emergency Plan: Low-Cost Housing Projects To be Accelerated

Séraphin Magloire FOUDA | 02-03-2018 11:08

 Below is a press statement from the Prime Minister’s office after yesterday’s cabinet meeting.

“The  Prime  Minister,  Head   of  Government, His  Excellency  Philemon YANG, this Thursday  1  March  2018  chaired  this  month's   Cabinet  Meeting at 3:00 p.m. at the  Prime Minister's Office.  Apart  from  his  close  aides,  the  meeting  was  attended by the Vice-Prime Minister, Ministers of State, Ministers,  Ministers Delegate and Secretaries  of State.

Two items featured on the agenda namely:
1.  Statement  by the  Minister  Delegate  at the  Presidency in charge,, of  Public  Contracts  on " stakes and prospects of dematerializing public procurement  procedures";

2.  Statement  by the Minister  of Housing  and Urban Development on "progress of the low-cost houses building  programme  and related public facilities under  the three-year emergency plan to accelerate economic growth";

Before giving the floor to the ministers concerned for their statements, the Prime Minister emphasized the instructions of the President of the Republic  who ordered  that missions  abroad for members of Government  and State agents  be reduced to the absolute minimum, just as the sizes of the delegations should. He said that journeys by air for Board Chairs, Administrators, Director  Generals  and the Deputy Directors  General of companies  and public  establishments, shall  be  in  business  class  and  shall  be  subject  to  the  prior  authorization  of  the  technical supervisory ministers and the Head of Government.

Concerning  State agents, the Prime  Minister  recalled  that their  travels  abroad on official missions shall be in economy  class and those who were exceptionally entitled to first class shall now  travel in business  class.  The  Prime  Minister instructed ministers and  the  Minister  of Finance  in particular to ensure the  strict compliance  of travel  classes  by State agents while waiting for the ongoing amendment  of the decree thereto related.

Following the introductory  statement  of the Head  of Government, the Minister  of Public Contracts  presented  the stakes  of the project to dematerialize  public  procurement procedures. This project, also called "e-procurement", is articulated in 3 phases which are part of a wide­ ranging programme to modernize the Cameroonian public procurement system, in order to make it more efficient in terms of speed, transparency and easing procedures.

Referring to the actions carried out with the support of the Korean cooperation under the first phase of the project, the Minister said that the platform to dematerialise documents used in bidding, called "Cameroon on fine e-procurement system" (COLEPS) was operational.  Through this platform, 1898 contracts were programmed   in 2017 and 177 tenders.

Furthermore,  the  legal  framework  governing the dematerialization of  procedures  was set  up, with the signing on 5 January  2018 of instruments to lay down regulations for use, and the terms and conditions for awarding contracts electronically  in Cameroon.

As for prospects, the Minister  of Public Contracts  announced  ongoing  works for the second phase of the project comprising: (i) the constitution  of a statistical  and economic database for the public contracts sector; (ii) development of computer modules to enable electronic signing of contracts,  monitoring   public  contracts   and on-line payment of related fees.  Moreover, the normative structure to ease the public procurement  procedures  needs to be boosted, and a pilot phase  to  experiment the project shall be done  in 2018  on selected ministries and  local administrations.

The Minister of Housing  and  Urban  Development then took the floor for a report on the progress of the low-cost  houses  building  programme under the Three-year Emergency  Plan  to accelerate  economic growth.  He revealed  that this programme  consists  in the construction  of a total of 800 houses, with 100  houses  per  Region, with  the  exception   of  Yaounde (Centre Region)  and Douala (Littoral  Region)  which already  benefit from other programmes  related  to social  housing. To these  houses, should  be  added public  facilities namely: a primary  and  a nursery school, a health centre, a supermarket, offices and play grounds.

Regarding the execution rate  of  this  important programme,   the  Minister   of  Housing disclosed  that the study  phase  is ended and  works  are ongoing  in all regions concerned. The execution rate to date stands at 92% for the site in Ebolowa and about 35% for the other 7 sites. Delivery of the various work sites is scheduled for 2018.

To conclude, the Minister of Housing mentioned a few difficulties hampering the effective execution of the works, such as the security atmosphere in some Regions of the country, and the shape and topography of some sites.

After  the  discussions arising from these  statements, the  Prime Minister instructed  the Minister  of  Public  Contracts to finalize the  draft  text  in  order to complete   the  normative structure to regulate  on-line  procurement. He equally urged him to ensure that all stakeholders appropriate the e-procurement tools, in order to guarantee the principle of equity and free access to public procurement. To the Minister of  Housing and  Urban  Development,  the  Head  of Government  instructed  the speeding  up of works on all sites and to submit to him a strategy for the leasing of these low-cost houses.

The meeting was adjourned at 5:15 pm.”
Yaounde 1st March 2018
Secretary General
Prime Minister’s Office

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