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Minister Jean Claude Mbwentchou outlines 2017 urban development projects

Jean Claude Mbwentchou, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, MINHDU, has disclosed that the Yaoundé-Nsimalen motorway will be completed in…

Jean Claude Mbwentchou, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, MINHDU, has disclosed that the Yaoundé-Nsimalen motorway will be completed in 2017 as his ministry gears up to supervise the accomplishment of its major projects.

Speaking Thursday, January 26, 2017 during a ceremony to present New Year wishes to him and Marie Rose Dibong, Secretary of State in charge of Housing, at the courtyard of the Ministerial Building N° 1, Minister Jean Claude Mbwentchou availed himself of the opportunity to extend gratitude to all staff of MINHDU for the efforts deployed daily to perform the missions assigned to the Ministry.

“We feel the more cheered up today as the recent report of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (CONAC) for fiscal 2015 commended the actions of personnel of MINHDU
in combating corruption. Indeed, in its conclusion, CONAC notes: “during the period under review, no staff of MINHDU was convicted of any act of dishonesty attributable to corruption or any act considered as corruption”. However, such appreciation is an invitation to work harder and to remain vigilant, objective and serious in processing files.”

He saluted the presence of Jacqueline Koung a Bessike, Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure, as “proof that our two ministerial departments work in perfect symbiosis and should continue to do so to successfully implement our numerous joint projects.”

Housing and Urban Dev’t Minister ©Menchum Voice

Amongst these projects are the Government project for the construction of 10 000 housing units and service and development of 50,000 constructible plots, the construction of the Yaounde-Nsimalen Highway, the development of tourism on the Yaoundé Municipal Lake and the development of the Mingoa Valley in Yaoundé, preparatory works to the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations, the development of the new Nkozoa Urban Development Centre in Yaoundé, the Sawa Beach project in Douala and the roads and housing components of the Three-year Emergency Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth (PLANUT).

Welcoming urban stakeholders, including personnel of the central and external services of MINHDU, officials of the Cameroon Real Estate Corporation, public and private companies intervening in the urban sub-sector, professional Orders and Lord and Lady Mayors, the Minister said the execution of the 2016 budget was marked by an acceleration of projects towards preparation of the 2016 edition of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and the men’s edition in 2019 to take place in Cameroon, the pursuit of the roads and housing projects under PLANUT, and pursuit of major structuring road and sanitation projects, notably the Yaoundé-Nsimalen Highway and drainage structures in Douala and Yaoundé. He also cited the programme to construct 1,500 low-cost houses implemented by Chinese Cooperation of which 1,400 houses have been completed as the process of their commercialization is being kicked-started.

“I congratulate each and every one of you for your commitment, hard work, and abnegation that have given rise to visible and edifying results through the excellent hosting of the women’s AFCON 2016. The contribution of our ministry to the success of the event was commended by top hierarchy and by parliament. I congratulate you thereon and encourage you to forge ahead by taking actions in time or even anticipating some in order to avoid the catch-up situations we often have to deal with in the implementation of our projects. I am convinced that you can deliver.

“However, our performance should not cause us to sleep on our laurels. It is rather an invitation to stay the course so as to consolidate achievements. To prove the point, during our passage before the Nation’s representatives last 27 November, Members of Parliament, through their questions in general, demonstrated the hypersensitive nature of our subsector on which a lot of hope is staked for generation of strong and lasting growth and creation of jobs.”

He regretted that the year 2017 now beginning is marked by a slash in resources as the Finance Law that has just been enacted allocates to their ministry, a budget of 138 453 706 000 FCFA, an amount some would describe as modest given the huge challenges that lie ahead of them.However, regardless of the budgetary rigor, he told his collaborators that they are bound to perform their missions and to implement the
commitments made to develop the sub-sector.

In other to effectively implement the 2017 major housing and urban development projects detailed out by the Prime Minister and Head of Government during presentation, in November 2016, of government’s economic, financial, social and cultural program for fiscal 2017, the Minister told his personnel to be effective, efficient and assiduous at work.

These include, inter alia: On Housing Development;pursuit of the process to hand over the keys of houses of the first phase of the government  program to construct 10 000 low-cost houses; delivery and launch of commercialization of houses constructed under the program to construct 1,500 low-cost houses with financing from the People’s
Republic of China; pursuit of construction for delivery in December 2017 of 100 low-cost houses and related facilities in Bafoussam, Bamenda, Bertoua, Buea, Ebolowa, Garoua, Maroua and Ngaoundéré, as part of the Three-Year Emergency Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth (PLANUT); effective start of development of the Yaoundé
municipal lake and renovation of the MINGOA valley; effective start of construction of 900 houses of the 50th anniversary housing complex in Yaoundé and pursuit of construction of the 530 houses of the Eponym Housing Complex in Douala; effective start of some big housing production projects with international companies, including the pizzarotti project, to cite just this one; the start of activities of the Project on Urban Development for the promotion of Inclusive Cities with the assistance of the World Bank; Completion of preliminaries to permit effective start of works in Bertoua, Bafoussam and Garoua within the framework of urban C2D “Regional Headquarters” and the start of studies relating to the 3rd Urban C2D.

Yaounde-Douala highway under construction © All rights reserved

On improving the urban environment, focus shall be on: pursuit of construction of 40 km rain runoff drainage structures in Douala; completion of the second phase of the Keep Yaoundé Clean Project (PADY 2), covering 14 km. On development of urban transport infrastructure, MINHDU shall ensure: completion of the open-country section of the Yaoundé-Nsimalen Highway, finalize studies and start works on the urban section of the said highway; 11 implementation of the road networks component of phase two of PLANUT through implementation in Yaoundé and Douala of works covering nearly 80 km; pursuit of construction of the access road to the Olembé Omnisport stadium in Yaoundé; the start of construction of access roads to stadia, hospitals and hotels in Douala, Buea, Bafoussam, Garoua, Foumban, Bandjoun and Mbouda, in the run up to AFCON 2019; rehabilitation of road networks in about thirty secondary towns.

To managers of companies and Heads of consultancies of the building and construction sector, he said their presence as operational stakeholders is an honour and affords the opportunity to say how proud they are about their collaboration and count on them for quality work within deadlines in 2017. “Many companies encounter both financial and technical difficulties; others just wish to secure a large portfolio of contracts. For these two categories of companies, we encourage them to get into joint
ventures and thus beef their financial and technical capacities. Indeed, action shall be taken to limit the contracts portfolio of companies.”

The defects registered in the past, the Minister echoed, shall no longer be tolerated. He thus urged his technical services to denounce any defaults in the execution of public contracts, notably unjustified requests for extension of deadlines and for supplements.

He concluded by reiterating that his ministry is resolutely focused on performance. «Past fiscal years have taught us lessons on implementation of our projects and program. We have to consolidate our achievements. Challenges are on the rise. However, I know I can bank on each and every one of you, on your intellectual and managerial capacities and on your patriotic commitment.”