By Ignatius Nji
With just two years to the end of the Grassfield phase II project, the seventh steering committee meeting held on Friday 16 December in Bamenda headed by North West Governor Lele Adolphe L’Afrique as President of GP-DERUDEP Phase II. This meeting had two objectives which were the examination and approval of the 2016 progress report and examination and approval of the 2017 work plan and budget.
In his opening word to committee members, the Governor could not hid his elatedness that the steering committee finally took place given that just a week before, Bamenda was too tense because of the violent strike action by some excited youths who were expressing tantrums against a political party’s rally in Bamenda. To him if the upheavals had persist till date, it won’t have been possible to have the steering committee meeting, to deliberate on issues that bring development and progress not only to the North West, but to the country Cameroon. The Governor did insist that the population who are the greatest beneficiaries do count on the committee given that the successful execution of the project depends on the orientations given the project implementation unit after such deliberations as that of the day. He announced the lifting of the suspension on the revolving funds which was thanks to the assiduous and effective work of the Project Management and some steering committee members.
After rigorous deliberations and pointing out some difficulties encountered by management of the project, an eight point resolution was arrived at with the first being approval of the minutes and state of realization of the sixth steering committee. Approval of the progress report of the project for the year 2016 and approved the annual work plan and budget of the Grassfield II project for 2017 which was balanced in income and expenditure at FCFA 9.698.400.000 from the following sources: ADF loan =FCFA 4.538.289.000, ADF Grant =FCFA 1.500.600.000, GoC =FCFA 3.662.511.000. Considering the feedback given by the project implementation unit that only FCFA 600 Million was allocated to the project for 2017 by MINADER meanwhile 2017 is a crucial year of the project, the committee approved that the steering committee President in the person of the Governor of the Region, should contact MINEPAT and solicit for additional counterpart funds for 2017. The committee equally approved the immediate study of a few kilometers that will link the road currently being constructed by Chariot Company to the borders with Nigeria, so that the same contractor should execute before pulling out of the area. It was also recommended that all representatives of the basins should henceforth come with reports of activities in the basins during Steering Committee Sessions. The committee approved the request for MINEPAT to designate a staff of the department in charge of Islamic World to represent IDB interest in subsequent Steering Committee session. And the eight recommendations was the approval of a visit of the Steering Committee members to some realizations of the project to better appreciate the efforts made by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) and contractor/Partners. Committee members were called upon to be ambassadors of peace and to preach peace anywhere they go to restrain children, family members and the communities from any act of violence and destructive tendencies. To him change as advocated by the protagonists can be obtained through peaceful means.
By Ignatius Nji