The on-going crisis in the nation has not only helped to cripple the already crippled economy but as well heavily hampered the execution rate of the Public Investment Budget, PIB.
Statistics prove that, out of the FCFA eighteen billion allocated for the Southwest, the execution rate of the PIB stands at 64 percent. This drop in execution has been blamed on the precarious and unsecured environment plagued by the crisis. To this extent, Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai has urged economic operators to shun the phenomenon of ‘ghost towns’ and to pay state taxes so as to get a much higher execution rate of the public investment budget, PIB.
He made the call Thursday, January 10, in Buea during the launching of the 2019 state budget for the Southwest Region.
Going by Okalia, there is a need for more decentralization which can only work by paying taxes. While calling on the SDOs, Divisional delegates, service heads, mayors and other stakeholders to be more professional, he stated that the population of the Region should expect from their elected officials and their various government delegates to provide them with social amenities like potable water, farm-to-market roads and some basic health facilities.” He, however, called on municipal authorities to submit their financial reports to the Divisional finance controllers for a better follow up.
Until economic activities will be functioning like was the case some three years back, Okalia believed, the state budget will not be executed conveniently. “You cannot execute the state budget when economic operators are closing their businesses everyday to observe “ghost town” and projects too cannot take off,” he held.
The administrators, the Governor added, should choose the best partners when it comes to choosing contractors, to move around, collect taxes and to avoid corruption.
Buinda Godlove however supposed that the low execution rate is understood by everyone, knowing the current precarious environment. “We are living in a situation where insecurity is a major issue and that is why we had to launch projects severally, because bidders were not available to go to areas where it was so difficult,” he explained.
“In fact even Fako which we thought would have a 100 percent execution rate had challenges in areas like Muyuka. So that is why we had a low execution rate due to insecurity,” Buinda added.
Patrice Limumba Mboh, DAG, MINFI, on his part explained that while those for investment have dropped, that for functioning has increased which to him is because of the Anglophone crisis. Statistics last year going by him, showed that the investment budget was not executed at a satisfactory rate and which to him has been taken in to consideration.
“Our mission is to accompany the various stakeholders so that we can look forward to a better execution rate this year” he added.
According to the financial document for this year, the Region has been allocated FCFA 14 billion, one hundred and two million, seven hundred and eighty one thousand, eight hundred and seventy eight 14, 102, 781, 878, representing a decrease in the PIB from 2018 and an increase in recurrent budget.
BY EBUNE RELINDISE