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Opposition Rejects 2016 Budget 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

The SDF Parliamentary group has raised a preliminary objection to the 2016 draft budget of FCFA 4234.7 billion adopted by Parliament on Sunday, December 6, 2015.

The SDF Parliamentary Group leader, Hon. Joseph Banadzem, presented the objection and proposed that the bill be sent back to the Finance Committee but the CPDM Parliamentary majority voted against the objection and the business of the House went on as usual.

Besides rejecting the draft budget as unrealistic, the SDF wants officials of the Senate to defend their budget before the Finance Committee of the National Assembly.

The budget was adopted after the various Ministers had defended their budgetary projections before the Finance Committee against protests from the opposition that the budget does not reflect the country’s economic situation.

The Ministry of Public Works will bag FCFA 403.9 billion for investment in infrastructure in 2016. This amount, which Minister Emannuel Nganou Djoumessi defended on December 2, saw a FCFA 78.1-billion increase as compared to FCFA 325.2 billion in 2015.

According to the Minister, among the projects to be carried out is the development of access roads to the 10 stadia under construction for the African football competitions in 2016 and 2019.

Going the budgetary projections, the Yaounde-Bafoussam–Bamenda, the Moro-Dabanga and Dabanga-Kousseri, the Ngollbang Zoetele-Sangmelima-Mezessa Meyomessala roads have all been earmarked for rehabilitation.

Djoumessi said apart from the Ebebda Bridge and the Babadjou-Bamenda stretch, other projects are still screaming for funding.

The budgetary allocations of the Ministry of Justice and Keeper of the Seals will witness a FCFA 3 billion drop in 2016. It now stands at FCFA 44.810 billion as against 47.992 billion in 2013.

Experts hold that the greatest victims of such a drop could be prison detainees whose food rationing per day per prisoner could be reduced from FCFA 300 to 270. It is also feared that the health of prisoners per person could be reduced from FCFA 6,572 to 5,327 per year.

According to the Minister of Justice, Laurent Esso, his Ministry will execute three important projects in 2016. Such projects are tailored to ameliorate governance, empower the Justice sub-department and jurisdictional framework activities.

Esso said his Ministry will work to solve the problem of overpopulation in prisons and the shortage of penitentiary workers.
The Minister of Water Resources and Energy, Basil Atangana Kouna, defended a projected FCFA 2,141 billion, which stipulates that FCFA 208 billion goes for public investments, while FCFA 5.5 billion will be used as the operational budget.

The Minister said the money will be used to bankroll projects that will increase water and energy supply in the country.

To him, Government will use the money to secure the country’s medium and long-term electricity supply and to continue work at the Lom Pangar, Memvele and Mekin hydroelectric dams.

He said the project to construct 150 drinking water supply systems in 150 secondary towns and villages will be executed in 2016. He also reported that a US project to construct 160 drinking water supply points in some rural areas will be realised in 2016.

The new Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng, equally defended her Ministry’s allocations that stand at FCFA 256 billion.

Going by her, the money will be used to improve the postal network and enhance the quality of telecommunications network in view of the upcoming African Nations Cup Competition in 2016 and 2019.

The Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Public Contracts, Abba Sadou, told the Finance Committee that his Ministry will use FCFA 22.7 billion to pursue reforms in the public contracts sector. Such reforms border on the speedy award and execution of public contracts as well as the intensification of control missions.
He revealed that in 2015, the Ministry awarded 2,805 contracts.

Within this context, 248 projects were earmarked for the three-year Emergency Plan. The Minister revealed that the efficient execution of programmes during the period 2013-2015 enabled the State to save more than FCFA 300 billion.

The Minister of Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo, defended the budget of his colleague of the Ministry of Scientific Research and Innovations, Madeleine Tchuinte, who was unavoidably absent. The projected budget for the Ministry for 2016 stands at close to FCFA 12 billion.

The empowering of Cameroon’s airline company is the reason the Minister of Transport, Edgar Alain Mebe Ngo’o, gave for FCFA 8.3 billion in 2016.

The Minister of Social Affairs, Pauline Irene Nguene, defended FCFA 5.6 billion The Minister of Land Tenure and State Property, Jacqueline Koung a Bessike, defended FCFA 20 billion.

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