By Boris Esono Nwenfor (Cameroon)
The worsening situation in the Anglophone regions has been blamed for the plunge in the realization rate of the Public Investment Projects for the South West Region. For the past three years, the realization of projects allocated through the Public Investment Budget has been on a steady decline since the crisis broke out in late 2016.
Speaking during the evaluation of the level of execution of the Public Investment Projects (PIP) for 2018, Magdaline Agbor, Chair of the Regional Follow-up and Evaluation Committee noted that it is the role of all to promote transparency and accountability in the whole process of the execution of the public investment budget.
Talking about the low execution of the public investment budget, she indicated that persistent insecurity is a prime factor to the results gotten in recent years. She also blamed the delay in tendering and award process of public contracts as some of the contributing factors to the declining figures.
In 2016, the region’s realization rate of projects stood at 86 per cent. During this year-at the early stage of the crisis, the blame was on bad weather and slow award of contracts. Fast forward to 2017, the realization rate stood at 65 per cent and in 2018, it was at 44 per cent.
Statistics presented by the chair indicates that the realization of the 2018 Public Investment Projects for the South West Region stands at 42.07 per cent. Fako Division, which is comparatively stable compared to other Divisions, tops the chart with 73.87 per cent of physical realization. Fako is followed by Manyu with 41.71 per cent, Kupe Manenguba 35.89 per cent, Meme 33.83 per cent, Lebialem 30.73 per cent and Ndian with 20.19 per cent.
Speaking to the press, Abraham Modimi of ETS MARYBRAMS-Buea, a contractor frowned at the process indicating that contractors are not given respect and are shabbily treated by the various stakeholders.
During the launch of the Public Investment Budget, Governor Okalia Bilai said: “let the economic operators stop to observe this phenomenon of” ghost town”. Until economic activities will be functioning as before, we will not execute the state budget conveniently. You cannot execute the state budget when economic operators are closing their businesses every day to observe “ghost town” and projects too cannot take off”.
“The administrators should choose the best partners when it comes to choose contractors to move around to collect taxes and to avoid corruption” he added.
According to the financial document for this year, the SWR was allocated fourteen billion, one hundred and two million, seven hundred and eighty one thousand, eight hundred and seventy eight (14, 102, 781, 878) FCFA, representing a decrease in the PIB from 2018 while recurrent budget has increased.