Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Excess charges, the Paul Biya stadium to cost more than 260 billion FCFA

It was initially a multisport complex with a hotel for an amount of 163 billion FCFA.

The Canadian manufacturer MAGIL is already at work on the construction site of the Paul Biya stadium in Olembe. 

The company that must complete the construction of this infrastructure of 60 000 places after the withdrawal from the market at Grouppo PICCINI, received on Monday, December 9, 2019, part of its equipment (excavators, cranes, trucks etc.) transferred from its sites from Douala where MAGIL carries out other important works like the East entrance of the city or the sports stadium of Bepanda. 

In Olembe, the resumption of work is expected on Tuesday with the first steps of the laying of grass, we learned. 

Exorbitant cost 

On December 30, 2015, when the Cameroonian government entrusted the Italian company PICCINI with this contract, the total cost of the works was estimated at 163 billion CFA francs. 

Part of the opinion had estimated at the time that this sum was astronomical.

To defend themselves, the authorities emphasized that this is a complex including the main stadium and its two annexes, a 5-star hotel with 70 rooms, a shopping center, a gymnasium with a capacity of 2000 seats, multiplex cinema, Olympic swimming pool, tennis, basketball and volleyball courts. 

To date, four years later, the government is only talking about the only Paul Biya Stadium with its two training grounds. Curiously, the cost of construction has only increased. 

According to sources from Cameroon-Info.Net, to resume the work, MAGIL which proceeds by pre-financing, has obtained pledge of payment by the State of Cameroon of about 97 billion FCFA. Adding with the first envelope, we reach 260 billion FCFA. 

For comparison, the stadium of France, built in 1998, cost a little more than 260 million euros, more than 171 billion FCFA. Its capacity goes beyond 80 000 places. 

Is this a new financial scandal? For the moment, the authorities remain silent on the subject, preferring to stress the urgency of delivering the site before June 2020