Insecurity blamed for the North West ring road project stagnation

Minister Paul Tasong at the University of Bamenda 

The Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Economy, planning and Regional Development, Paul Tasong has hinted pressmen in Bamenda that only the prevailing insecurity in the region is stopping the government from realising the ring road project.

Minister Paul Tasong was in Bamenda to explain the National Development strategy for 2020-2030 which comes to replace the Growth and Employment strategic paper. The National Development Strategy was first adopted in 2019.

While explaining the indicators that could make Cameroon an emergent country by 2035, the minister called on the living forces of the North West to, like one man arrest the insecurity to get the ring road done.

The ring road project has been a sing-song for more than three decades, causing the people of the North West to lose hope in it. However, Paul Tasong noted that the money for the construction of the road is already available but a contractor cannot be engaged in the present dispensation.

Headquarters of the African Development Bank

Since June 22nd, 2020, the Government of Cameroon signed a 106 billion loan with the African Development Bank, AfDB for the realisation of the road.

The ring road spans from Bamenda through Bambui, to Ndop, Kumbo, Nkambe, Misaje, Nyos, Wum, Bafut and back to Bamenda, covering a total distance of 365km. It passes through five of the seven Divisions that make up the North West.

Since the start of the crisis that has rocked the English-speaking parts of Cameroon for five years running, several projects have been abandoned due to rampant kidnaps and demand for ransom, vandalisation of construction equipment as well as frequent gun battles in some project areas. Some resilient contractors have however, taken their projects to the end.

The crisis in the English-speaking North West and South West regions, coupled with attacks of Boko Haram in the Far North and rebel attacks in the East have plunged Cameroon into a serious economic hardship.  The coronavirus pandemic too caused a very difficult economic growth rate for Cameroon in 2020.

With just 0.7% growth rate in 2020 and an overall growth rate of 4.5% in the last 11 years, falling short of the expected 5.5% growth, experts say these are some of the failures recorded in the old strategy.

The new National Development Strategy seeks to have an economy driven by the private sector, with industrialisation at the core that can create meaningful employment for the youth of the country.

Paul Tasong further recommended that to have this strategy succeed, Cameroonians must invest in the technology and digital transformation sector and must seek to export goods with an added value.

Agricultural potentials like the growing of rice and fish must be improved to limit the huge tons imported into the country every year.

The development strategy also targets the urban centres of Cameroon that has about 50 percent of the country's population. Access roads, quality health care, Water and electricity will be the prime focus.

At the MINEPAT Hall Upstation, just like in the University of Bamenda, the Minister answered questions and stated clearly that this guide is better than the last and is purposefully driven for vision 2035, a development vision by the president of the Republic of Cameroon.

Paul Biya hopes to make Cameroon an emergent country by 2035. He believes to attain this, he must fast track the development of infrastructure and stop the over dependence of citizens on the public sector.


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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