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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Afcon withdrawal: here are the 17 ministers whom Paul Biya must sanction

On October 3, 2014, President Paul Biya signed a decree on the creation, organization and functioning of the National Committee for the Preparation of the African Cups of the 2016 and 2019 Football Nations.

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At the end of the decree, 17 ministerial departments were involved in this vast machine that was intended to lead to the success of Can 2016 and 2019. In early 2018, Le Jour approached several actors involved in the organization of the 2019 Can to know blockages in the evolution of work. "The 2016 Can Can and Can 2019 are part of a package.

The good organization of the one conditioned the other, which is why Cameroon organized the first competition thinking of the second, "explained Samuel Zona Nkomo of the communication department of the Ministry of Sports. Since 2014, this famous committee has worked in a short week and it is on the wire that the African Cup of Nations women was organized in December 2016 after a postponement of two months. The men's Can which was announced was of another texture and mobilized other means. Did everyone play his score?

17 ministries involved

Among the ministries involved, some had a central role. Upstream of the process was the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Spatial Planning (Minepat). "Our role is to seek funding to build files to find money for the construction of infrastructure related to Can, the execution of the work and the use of money does not concern us," indicated Alex Mimbang, the head of the communication division at Minepat.Did the Minepat do the job on time? "But yes Mimbang answered, you only have to see when the contracts were signed" .On 02 November 2016, Louis Paul Motaze, then Minister of Economy and Eximbank-Turk Vice-President, Alaaddin Metin have signed a financing agreement of 114 billion for the complex complex of Japoma, in the suburbs of Douala whose total cost of work is estimated at 140 billion CFA francs. On August 17, 2016, the Minepat had already contracted, on behalf of Cameroon, another loan of 139 billion from the Italian bank Intesa Paolo for the construction of the Olembe complex in Yaounde, valued at 163 billion CFA francs.

If we take into account the fact that the Can 2019 was awarded to Cameroon in September 2014 and the aforementioned Committee was created a month later, the Minepat has took two years to mobilize the $ 252 billion that the country needed to build these two large stadiums. "It's not too much when you consider that you have to convince the partners and tie up the files," defended Alex Mimbang. For the specific case of large stadiums, Turkish and Italian funding was available since September 2016, but work only started several months later. Why ? "We had to find the Cameroon counterpart. In the case of the Olembe stadium, for example, it was 15% and the Italians required this money to start the work; this has delayed the actual start of work, "explained Alex Mimbang.

The Cameroonian counterpart is fresh money to be paid to the project. And this is the business of the Ministry of Finance. Here too, we defend ourselves against having acted on time. On 07 September and 27 December 2016, Alamine Ousmane Mey, then Minister of Finance, signed two loan agreements with BGFI Cameroon (24 billion) and Uba Cameroon (24.5 billion) to complete financing for the construction of these major infrastructures . "This money will mostly be used for compensation. But how to explain that since it is available, compensation is not yet paid for the stadium of Olembe for example, "indignant an executive of the Minfi. "It is necessary to reckon with this Cameroonian mentality which wants that nobody makes advance a file until it does not see its interest, the ministry of finances is there to control and to make sure that the money is actually used to what it is for, "he added.

Bidoung offside 

In truth, if the country did not shine by a great celerity to mobilize funding, he still dragged the paw to get to work even if the Ministry of Sports is trying to relativize this gap . In addition to the two major stadiums, several markets were planned in various fields relating to other sports, hotel and transport infrastructures. Ministries such as tourism, urban planning and housing, public works and transport were strongly involved. The portal of the Cameroonian diaspora in Belgium. They sent their files to the presidency but again the contracts took forever to be signed.The companies to which those contracts were awarded could not start the works without signing those contracts from which they could claim advances or discounts.

The Canadian company "Canadian Commercial Corporation" (Ccc) for example, responsible for the rehabilitation of the Reunification Stadium and its annex, which has its own financing, has long waited for the contractualization to start the work. At a press conference on 18 July 2017, Sports Minister Bidoung Mkpatt said that "contracting with the contractors was under way". If he is, by presidential decree dated August 11, 2017, the president of the Organizing Committee (Cocan), Bidoung was far from having full powers in this matter. "We thought he made enough money at the Women's Can 2016 and we sidelined him. Everything was decided at the presidency of the Republic, "says a cadre of the Ministry of Communication."The presidency has slowed down several files sent by the relevant ministries. Many accuse the Ministry of Public Procurement but basically everything went through the presidency for validation, "says our source.

"In the case of Can 2019, the Ministry of Public Procurement has been more affected by the decisions of the presidential executives," says another executive in Minmap. An example summarizes this heaviness. "Tenders for the renovation of the Mont Febe Hotels in Yaoundé and Sawa in Douala have long dragged the presidency of the Republic," said a contractor engaged on one of the Can's shipyards. August 08, 2017, the Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh has to everyone's surprise awarded a lot of renovation of 04 training stadiums and construction of a four-star hotel in Garoua for a total cost of 26 billion from Fcfa to Prime Protomac.

The Biya 

Prime Protomac style is the American company headed by Cameroonian-born American Ben Modo. It failed miserably in an attempt to build 05 stadiums equipped with artificial turf for the FĂ©cafoot. How was it able to rebound to win this lucrative contract? "It's mostly thanks to American diplomacy," says his promoter."That's wrong," retorts a contractor who has submitted an offer for this market.Some people in the presidency had already made this choice, we were only there to make the number, "he quipped. "It was a unique opportunity for the presidency's executives to get out of their pockets.Many thought it was their last blow before President Biya's departure and they did not want to miss it, "said a source close to the palace of Etoudi.

Everything thus brings back to the fortress of Etoudi. In addition to the markets it has been slow to validate, the institution has taken all its time to create the famous Organizing Committee (Cocan) responsible for the practical organization of the competition. "At the level of the Ministry of Sports the document was ready for a long time, it was transmitted to the presidency which also awaited the approval of the Caf," said Samuel Zona. Here again, President Biya took all his time and his services did not transmit the draft text until a few months ago. Paul Biya's scribes like to present him as the master of clocks. The info clear and sharp. This curious divination works effectively when it comes to watering a Cameroonian people enslaved by inept preaching. The situation is different when one is looking internationally where Paul Biya can not claim the same leisure of indolence and apathy. In the big world arena, these tares are paid cash. So the president has placed the order, will he have for once the decency to pay the bill?