The National Road Board’s Focal Points ended their 4th Series of Conferences on August 25, 2015 in Yaounde.
Henceforth, authorities are required to pay compensation to indigenes for expropriated land traversed by government’s road construction projects. Focal Points of the National Road Board and stakeholders drawn from public and private institutions, made this key among recommendations submitted to the Secretary General in the Prime Minister’s Office, Louis Paul Motaze, at the end of their 4th series of conferences yesterday, August 25, 2015.
Involve Traditional Rulers In Compensation Process
The recent embarrassment that occurred in the Lekie Division of the Centre Region, where indigenes blocked works on the Yaounde-Douala double-carriage highway for want of appropriate compensation, fueled discussions amongst the Focal Points, leading them to reiterate that given the laws in force and directives from donors and funding agencies, the payment for land expropriation compensation was required before the start of road construction projects.
They decried practices by some State officials who once informed of imminent road projects, encourage their relatives to carry out investments in the target areas to benefit from expropriation payments. They recommended that traditional rulers of indigenous communities concerned be associated in the identification and census of populations affected by government projects to prevent the addition of fictitious names on lists of beneficiaries. The Focal Points further suggested that contracting officers should ensure proper planning and programming of projects as well as secure, in anticipation, areas crossed by road projects.
Classification of Road Companies Imminent
At the start of the 4th Series of Conference on July 20, 2015, the Focal Points endorsed the draft decree creating the Committee for the Classification of Companies in the Construction and Public Works sector. Split into four specialized sub-committees and lodged temporarily at the National Road Board, the Committee, it was suggested, would provide the basis on which contracting officers will select companies bidding for road projects, thus preventing them from bidding for contracts for which they do not have the financial, technical and human resource capacity to execute. This, they held, will prevent the phenomenon of abandoned projects.
Creation of Second Generation Road Fund
The Focal Points were of the opinion that the status of the National Road Fund should be upgraded by allowing it collect all revenue from roads such as road tolls, weighing fees and penalties as well as other road royalties. According to the Permanent Secretary of the National Road Board, Issofa Moumbain Matapit, this will enable the Fund to not only increase its FCFA 55-billion budget but also handle payments of services performed by small and medium-size enterprises to prevent the latter from closing down as had been noticed when their payments were delayed.
While lauding the one-month work done by the Focal Points and giving tips to enrich it, Louis Paul Motaze promised that the recommendations will be forwarded for good use to the National Road Board chaired by Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang.