There seems to be no better way of justifying the consistent and persistent low execution of Public Investment Budget than the continuous urge for kickbacks. We have reached a stage where we need to address issues straight on the face. Every year, government significantly steps up the State budget with emphases on the Public Investment Budget. To ensure that all that is budgeted is consumed, administrative measures are taken to particularly improve on the consumption of the Public Investment Budget.
Conferences are organised, reforms initiated and training courses organised among others at various levels. But the results remain highly mitigated. It is not as if the government or better still policy makers are not aware of the importance of the PIB. Everyone knows that Public Investment Budget is a veritable instrument that can better the living conditions of the population. Talk of PIB and minds will quickly run to provision of social amenities, educational and health infrastructure, water supply, road construction and electrification.
How come such an important development tool so dear to the nation continues to produce such discouraging results? The low consumption of the Public Investment Budget has kept no one indifferent and this explains why the Head of State has in successive occasions decreed that the period of PIB commitment be extended to enable vote holders and other actors improve on the level of execution.
That notwithstanding, many Cameroonians remain worried at these re-occurrences especially at the moment the country is in dire need of such projects to spring to emergence come 2035. A number of factors seem to be responsible for this state of affairs. All of them are embodied in the famous phase; administrative bottlenecks. Yes, but the question remains. Why do administrative bottlenecks come into play only when it concerns Public Investment Budget? The answer, however, is simple. Public investment budget does not constitute a fertile ground for self aggrandisement.
Things are further exacerbated by the complex and complicated nature of the contract award system. At all stages of the public contract mechanism, there are problems. This year, which is already in its seventh month, the figures are still not convincing enough. This is quite surprising considering that government had at one time announced more stringent measures including the “time limits of contracts associated with projects.” Deadlines for contract awards, execution, evaluation and submission were supposed to have been compressed. As faith would have it, measures in Cameroon are better announced than implemented.