Home » B’da City Council Blamed For Attempting To Rob Population Of Modern Market

B’da City Council Blamed For Attempting To Rob Population Of Modern Market

by Atlantic Chronicles
  • Cameroon Investment & Development Group, CAMDIG, Exposes City Mayor’s Intrigues

Moved by The Post Weekender in its issue No.02399, after the fire disaster that burnt over 350 market sheds at the Bamenda Main Market, stakeholders have blamed the City Mayor, Paul Achobang failing execute the project as Prime Minister’s orders.

The stakeholders involved recently held a press conference at St Frederick Mubang Comprehensive High School Bamenda at which they dumped all the blame on the City Mayor.

They are the Chairman of the Prime Ministerial Commission, Musa Shey Nfor, the Secretary of that Commission, Jude Waindim, and another stakeholder who won the bid, Cameroon Investment and Development Group, CAMDIG. This came after the reactions over local radio stations and the outings of the Bamenda City Mayor in a local tabloid.

At the press conference, they said the City Mayor who, to date, has failed to convene the meeting for the special Prime Minister’s Commission for years back, and worse still, has gone ahead with the construction of the market from a FEICOM loan (still in gestation) announced last week that councillors authorised him to borrow.

The Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of the Cameroon Investment and Development Group, CAMDIG, Michael Mubang, who doubles as the Proprietor of Mubang Comprehensive High School, on Tuesday April 2, told the press that the City Mayor, Paul Achobang, who is going ahead in doing a wrong thing, doesn’t have the population of Bamenda at heart.

“This is the very Paul Achobang, when he was a councillor during the reign of the then Government Delegate, Vincent Ndumu (his predecessor), voted in a deliberation authorising Ndumu, to get into a Public Private Partnership, PPP, contract for the construction of three modern markets in Bamenda, namely: Lot I – the Bamenda Modern Central Commercial Centre; Lot II – the Bamenda Modern Food Market and Lot III – the Nkwen Bamenda Modern Commodity Market,” he said.


How CAMDIG Came In  

Mubang recalled that the Public International Call for the manifestation of interest No 001/PICMI/BCC of 24 May 2017 for the same lots as the previous one, saw Cameroon Investment Development Group as the lone bidder. The bid analysis report of 31 October 2019, was duly transmitted to the Prime Minister’s Office on  January 7, 2020, with the recommendation that CAMDIG be retained for the next step on a 75,5/100 score. As seen in the initial bid commission on January 8, 2020, the Public Partner, (Bamenda City Council) duly transmitted CAMDIG’s initial bid submission to the Special Commission. After two special Commission sessions of strict scrutiny of files, CAMDIG was requested to provide more technical documents, and the Public Partner (Bamenda City Council) was to transmit to the Special Commission for studies and for initial bid submission analysis to be concluded.


Who Is Supposed To Have Convened, Communicated Yaoundé, Subsequent Meetings?

According to Michael Mubang, it was therefore expected that “even if the special Commission president had been asked to indicate a convenient date, the City Mayor, Achobang, had already given window in request no one and I quote, ‘between the 15th  to 30th June 2020.’ If no indication came from the President of the Special Commission, then, as project owner, the City Mayor had the mandate and responsibility here to pick any date within the window period and issue invitations in Yaounde.  This has never been done till date.

Explaining further why invitations are issued by the City Mayor, Mubang said this is because financial incidence is involved.

“Remember that from the explicit explanation of the President and Secretary of the Special Commission, after publishing a municipal decision duly endorsed by the state supervisory authority, the Senior Divisional Officer of Mezam, with all the details of the persons involved and their functions, the members of this special Commission had a right to sitting allowance to be paid by the city Council. I am sure as an administrator myself, there must be an approved municipal decision to this effect, with specific indications of sitting fee amounts to each office.

“Therefore, in simple public finance principles, any payment of public funds to be effected to any beneficiary has to be sanctioned by an authorising act from the vote holder. It means that, in this case, the kick-off document for the special Commission members to meet and be paid after each session is an invitation from the vote holder in the name and office of each member. As such, an invitation to a Special Commission to meet can only come from the city Mayor as vote holder and Project Owner”


Does the President Of the Special Commission Convene Project Owner Or Vote Holder With No Delegation Of Powers?

Mubang said the President of the special Commission, has “no mandate to, considering that a special Commission is not a tenders board, rather, it is a Commission with a specific mandate, which is to receive bids from the Public Partner (City Council), analyse the files to lay down directives and transmit results back to the Public Partner, in this case, the City Council.

According to CAMDIG CEO, Mubang, it seems evident that from the foregone, as Public Partner, the Project Owner and as vote holder, the City Mayor of Bamenda absconded his responsibilities.

“To break the impasse, it is incumbent upon him to use his office to convene the special Commission to sit and conclude its job. Of course, this is still a work in progress.”

Citing good examples elsewhere, Mubang said when you visit cities like Dubai, you meet inhabitants, who think like you, reason like you and have the same education as you. They tell you that 20 years ago, around 2004, Dubai was a desert and 20 years later, it has been transformed into the best city in the world.

“But here we have very confused individuals who cannot use the resources around them to improve people’s lives. They are caught up in the very old way of thinking. We wanted to construct a modern commodity market in Bamenda also known as known as the Bamenda City Centre at the current location of the Bamenda City Market (Lot I). It comprised of parking lot on the ground floor at the street level and shopping centres with about 1,700 sheds of varying dimensions on two levels worth about FCFA 1,1 billion.

“Lot II was a new Bamenda Food Market on an area of approximately 12,000 square meters to comprise of an underground parking lot at the Sublevel (S-1), a Food Market on the ground floor or street level with 1,100 sheds of two(ground and 1st floor). It was worth about FCFA 800 million.

“Lot 3 was a new Nkwen Market Bamenda on an area of approximately 13,000 square meters to comprise of an underground level (S-1) and a completely new market on the ground floor or street level worth about FCFA 600 million. There were credit unions like; Ntarinkon Cooperative Credit Union, Azire Credit Union, Banks and even Sanlam Insurance, the second largest insurance company in Africa willing to finance the project.

“But here we are, four years later, still dancing on the same spot. The City Mayor is still building the same type of sheds that got burnt in the main market, in the food market beside the road heading to the old Fish pond area (towards Ntarinkon)”


City Council Dragged To Court                 

The CEO of CAMDIG said he has already sued the city Mayor because, having held more than three sessions, engaging experts who produced documents, they were fully engaged by his company at all stages and this entailed enormous cost.

“The experts are after us, they trusted and gave us their full confidence and we can’t fold our arms and see this money go in flames. We are claiming FCFA 1.5 billion. This is a council that owes workers 3 to 4 months’ salaries and just to get up, convenes a council session to convince councillors to vote to authorise him to borrow FCFA 6 Billion from FEICOM to construct the main market. Two days after their trucks put down the debris. What a speed to grant a loan from FEICOM. Wanders shall never end. The City Mayor is ambushing Bamenda people, just as he did more than a year ago when he demolished houses more than 15 meters from the major streets in Bamenda that the streets will transform the town. Where are we today? Broken roads, the population whose houses and market sheds were destroyed were forced to go back to their villages in poverty. He is trying to ambush the population of this town with this main market,” Mubang noted.


Edge Company Clears Stinking Debris For Free

To rescue the traders who suffered the fire incident in Bamenda recently, an indigene known as Dr Pius Tachang, a renowned contractor, this week rolled out his trucks for free and cleared the stinking stench from debris at the main market.

The traders expressed gratitude to him for salvaging them from an unknown disease that could add to the hardship.

Hear Stephen Chi: “When the rain poured heavily, the stench from stagnant water lodged in the debris here was already bringing infections to those of us who are patching with other traders. Let me tell you that this is not the first time, he is rescuing this town, and he cleared tons of waste in town for weeks when the City Council was unable. Here comes Tachang again to clear dirt, which experts estimate to cost more than FCFA, 300,000 million. This is what we call patriotism”

Written By Chris Mbunwe, First Published By The Post Newspaper

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