Public Independent Conciliator Publishes Report card, warns of tougher sanctions to defiant Mayors

Tamfu Simon Fai, North West Public Independent Conciliator delivering his annual activity report.

The public Independent Conciliator for the North West has published the performance ratings of councils for 2023 in his annual reports.

The ratings conducted through a survey, saw several councils indicted for poor service delivery.

A total of 7842 questionnaires were sent out to the public. 3842 of them were received with several councils found on the wanting list.

Tamfu Simon Fai, Public Independent Conciliator for the North West says massive sensitization has been carried out over the last two years to educate Regional and Municipal authorities on their roles and exactly what is expected of them. Emphasis during this period has been laid on the issuance of free civil status documents.

While some councils have implemented the recommendation, others have been head-strong.

Some journalists at the event

Some Mayors who spoke to The Observer, say booklets are not sent on time by the National civil status registration agency, BUNEC. Monies are curtailed from the councils straight into BUNEC coffers and when these registers are not available, they have to go an extra mile in acquiring them.

A submission dismissed by the PIC who remarked that when exorbitant fees are paid, the birth certificate is produced. He said the scarcity of booklets is artificially caused. However, the Head-of-state in 2023 commissioned BUNEC to produce the documents to the tune of 200 million francs CFA.

The PIC while delivering this annual performance report to the media, noted that the Mayors have been called to explain and in cases where they fail to, their signatures can be suspended.

On the issue of some councils operating away from their base, the PIC said he had continued to sensitize the Mayors to go back to their various council areas and operate there. Some he said have heeded to the call while others are hesitant.

The hesitation he says is due to the prevailing insecurity and not totally the fault of the council administrators.

Councils indicted 

At least 20 councils have been indicted after the survey was conducted.

Councils averaged in their administration are Benakuma and Kumbo who fall below the 50% mark.

On how council workers assess council's management of projects and contracts, respondents revealed that Nwa and Njikwa were managing projects poorly.

Regarding workers perception of discriminatory practices perpetuated by the councils such as favouritism amongst workers, payment of allowances, advancement of workers, tribalism and exclusion, workers perceived that it was rife in Bamenda I, Elak and Ndop councils.

With other forms of discrimination, the following councils topped the chart.

 - Bribery and corruption: Wum, Njinikom and Bamenda II

- extortion: Wum, Ndop and Kumbo
- unfair taxation: Ako, Elak and Ndop
- trespass to land/property: Furu-Awa, Andek and Bamenda I
- misappropriation and mismanagement of resources: Njinikom, Zhoa and Misaje 
- harassment of council workers: Ako, Furu-Awa and Njinikom
- impoliteness and inattention: Nkor, Furu-Awa and Nwa

As regards the administration and management of the councils, the population said the relationship between Mayors and their deputies were unfriendly in some cases. Mayors managed the councils like their private estates. The situation is worrisome in Njinikom, Andek, Ndop, Babessi, Tubah, Mbengwi and the Bamenda City council.

Councils with best practices 

The Annual report from the office of the Public Independent Conciliator salutes some councils for proper management. 

Councils singled out for proper management of projects and resources are Ndu council and the Bamenda II council.

Meanwhile workers of the Ndu council, Bamenda III and Nwa were saluted for proper financial resources management.

Perception on the North West Regional Assembly

The Regional Assembly faced enormous challenges in personnel management due to lack of standard working procedures, prohibition by a joint circular from the Ministry of Decentralisation and that of Finance, restricting the recruitment of staff.

Slow devolution of resources, discrimination amongst workers, hate speech, ethnic slangs, favouritism and other aspects of unfair treatment especially with non-respect of worker's rights notably non-payment of overtime, salaries, discrimination in trainings and lack of information are some of the areas that were cited.

The office of the public Independent Conciliator has taken a firm resolve to ensure better service delivery in the region by elected regional and local authorities.


Ndi Tsembom Elvis

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