More than six months into 2022, the execution rate of the 2022 budget of the South West Regional Assembly stands at 20.18 per cent
By Boris Esono Nwenfor
The president of the South West Regional Assembly has unveiled a plan for the Regional Council to construct a Regional Hotel with more than one hundred rooms which will serve the Councilors and the public following a loan from FEICOM.
Bakoma Elango Zacheus was speaking during the Third Ordinary Session of the South West Regional Assembly for the 2022 financial year. The two days session that ran from July 13 to 14 at the Buea Mountain Hotel saw a presentation of the proposed organizational chart of the SW Regional Council; and a presentation of the proposed standing orders of both houses which were all adopted.
The session was convened in compliance with section 280(1) of Law No. 2019/024 of 24/12/2019, to institute the General Code of Regional and Local Authorities. It provides inter alia that the Regional Council or Assembly shall meet in ordinary session once every quarter when convened by the president who shall establish the agenda thereof.
“This third session was dedicated to the examination of the execution of the mid-year execution of the 2022 budget…” Bakoma Elango, president of the South West Regional Assembly told the press. “The Special Council Support Fund for Mutual Assistance, FEICOM is putting at our disposal a billion FCFA in the form of a loan and they have encouraged us to think about an income generating project.”
“We think that with FCFA one billion we can conveniently start a hotel. That money may not cover the cost of constructing a hotel but we are trying to reflect top see to it that from our resources, we can add something to build a hotel. It is a project which we will look into.”
Bakoma Elango added: “We will build the hotel and it will generate revenue for us. Our colleagues will be lodged in the hotel during sessions for free and during recess, it will be for commercial purposes. It will generate income and will also create room for employment. It will be a good opportunity for us to also recruit sons and daughters of the South West Region.”
The South West Regional Assembly budget for this financial year stands at FCFA three billion two hundred million. The Regional Assembly has so far been engaged in four programmes as it strives to change the situation of the population in the region. FCFA One billion two hundred and eighty million was budgeted for recurrent expenditure (representing 40 per cent of the budget) while FCFA One billion nine hundred and twenty million was budgeted as investment expenditure (representing 60 per cent of the budget).
Programme one for the Regional Council focuses on improving healthcare and social action (17.025 per cent execution rate); programme two looks at promoting economic development and environmental protection of the region (1.31 per cent execution rate); programme three focuses on the protection of education, citizenship, culture, sports and youth support (10.53 per cent execution rate) and programme four looks at governance and local administration (40.78 per cent execution rate).
Bernard Okalia Bilai, governor of the South West Region, representative of the State in his message enjoined the Regional Councilors to effectively follow up on the projects that have been earmarked for the region for the benefit of the population.
“It will not be proper to discover amongst councilors individualistic tendencies, driven by selfish personal ambition of creating a new social class at the Regional Assembly than taking into consideration the welfare of the grassroots population. A regional councilor should be seen as a custodian and serve the interest of the general of the population,” Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai said.
“Without a peaceful and conducive atmosphere within our communities, all the ideas and projects which you (Regional Councillors) will be considered for the development of this region will remain on paper and have no positive impact on the day-to-day life of the grassroots population. This is why the message of peace should be repeatedly preached.”
In a nutshell, the rate of execution of the 2022 budget of the South West Regional Assembly as of the date is 20.18 per cent. From all indications, the seemingly/unacceptably slow rate of consuming the budget is according to the president principally because the Contract Award procedure at the level of the South West Regional Assembly Internal Tender Board is too slow.
Speaking to the press on the low level of execution so far of the 2022 budget, the SW Regional Assembly president Bakoma Elango said: “The recurrent budget covers sixty per cent of the global budget and those are investment projects that need to go through the procedure of contract award through the tender board. It is a bit cumbersome but we think that progress is being made.”
“I have so far already signed thirty contracts on fifty; so there are remaining 22 other contracts and we think now and the ending of next week, all the contracts will be signed. We think by the end of November, all the contracts would have been executed and net year we would have an acceptable level of execution.”