By Godlove BAINKONG, Cameroon Tribune, 13-08-2014
The third inter-ministerial committee session to assess programmes ended on Tuesday August 12, 2014 in Yaounde with wide-ranging recommendations.
Secretaries-General and other members of an inter-ministerial committee put in place by a Prime Ministerial decree to assess programmes contained in the Finance Law have recommended that structures in charge of ensuring that projects inscribed in the budget are matured be re-energized.The committee noted that beefing up the structures with both human and financial resources would help to secure a databank of already matured projects from where government can tap for a speedy and efficient consumption of the public investment budget capable of transforming the country socio-economically.
They said projects’ immaturity masterminded by inadequate or inexistent feasibility studies on what is to be carried out where and how are largely responsible for the low consumption of the public investment budget. Cases of classroom construction or other infrastructure assigned to localities without prior knowledge of how the project would help the population or worse still, a piece of land on which it would be built, are commonplace in the country.
The plea is contained in a 16-point recommendation that sanctioned two weeks of deliberations of the third inter-ministerial session to assess programmes in Yaounde on Tuesday August 12. The inter-ministerial committee members also noted that based on the current situation of reporting on the execution of the budget, there is need for a steering framework from where the different actors (Minister, Secretary General, officials of programmes and those carrying out field activities) could dialogue on the management of the programmes. Officials in charge of budgetary reforms were also invited to partner with the different administrations in drawing up programme strategies so as to surmount challenges of providing details and the better understanding of what is supposed to be done where, how and by what programme. It also emerged from the inter-ministerial committee meeting that the notion of programme budget is yet to be fully mastered by all stakeholders and that intensifying capacity building on the reforms would be good in its proper assimilation.
Speaking during the closing ceremony, the Minister Delegate in the Ministry of Finance, Pierre Titi, said the assessment thus far is that the heads of different ministries have shown interest. “Discussions during the session were headed by the leaders themselves and this shows the interest the Ministers have towards the committee and the efficient execution of the budget,” he said. The Minister Delegate disclosed that the session offered different ministries the opportunity to enhance the value of the programme with the contribution of other ministries. “We have made it as a task to ensure that the programmes of different ministries take into account very deeply the directives of the Head of State contained in a recent circular on the preparation of the 2015 State budget,” Pierre Titi concluded.