Cameroon: 5,800 km of roads in danger because of the failures of civil engineering companies

 The Cameroonian Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, has just cancelled all the contracts for road maintenance awarded to three civil engineering companies (Njimi Sarl, Africa Global Solution et Groupe Pani) and announced in a communiqué published on 3 February 2016, the cancellation of contracts of the same type awarded to 16 other civil engineering companies, all found to have been in breach of their duties within the execution of the said contracts.

According to our sources, as at end December 2015, out of the ongoing 406 road maintenance contracts, only 300 showed an acceptable level of execution. All the others, which represent 5,800 km of roads to be maintained, showed an alarming level of execution, thus leading to the gradual deterioration of the concerned roads.

This situation, which is not new in the country, not only led to the sanctions ordered or announced by the Minister of Public Works, but also to the signing and publication by the Prime Minister, on 1 February 2016, of a text setting the categories of service providers in the civil engineering sector. This text, according to industry experts, should enable a natural selection of the most performing companies, who would only be able to apply for public civil engineering contracts.

As a reminder, in Cameroon, less than 10% of the Cameroonian road network is maintained, due to insufficient resources dedicated to these works, Jean Claude Atanga Bikoé, Administrator of the Road Fund, confided. Indeed, we learned, the main resource for these works is a fraction of the special tax on oil products paid by oil products distributors.

This licence fee currently stands, as specified by the Road Fund Administrator, at FCfa 55 billion every year, while maintenance for only one kilometre of untarred road, of which the network has 100,000 km, costs on average FCfa 2 million.

Source:business in Cameroon

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