A WORD OF WELCOME PRESENTED BY THE GOVERNMENT DELEGATE TO THE Bamenda City Council AT THE NORTH WEST REGIONAL ELECTIVE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF UNITED COUNCILS AND CITIES OF CAMEROON, ON FRIDAY, THE 05TH OF SEPTEMBER 2014 IN BAMENDAin Speeches
The Governor of the North West Region,
The Senior Divisional Officer for Mezam,
The Divisional Officers for Bamenda I, Bamenda II and Bamenda III,
The Host Mayor of Bamenda II and all the North West Mayor Members of UCCC,
All Civil, Judiciary and Military Authorities here present,
Traditional, Religious and Political Authorities,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome all of you here today, on behalf of the Bamenda City Council, and in the name of the inhabitants of Bamenda, and of the entire North West Region.
Welcome to the unique event of the North West Regional Elective General Assembly of United Councils and Cities of Cameroon, UCCC, a meeting that shall chart a new course for this association, for the period running from 2013 to 2018.
In accordance with Chapter Four, Section One, Article Eight of the Constitution of UCCC, the North West Region shall be putting in place its seven Divisional Bureaux, as well as its Regional Bureau. It is our hope, dear Mayors and colleagues, that this very important exercise shall enable us to empower men and women of integrity, capable of living up to the overall vision of UCCC.
As we are all aware, United Councils and Cities of Cameroon has the ambition to emerge as an efficient organization, which contributes to the consolidation of our decentralization process. It also has the ambition of becoming an advisory organ of the institutional framework of decentralization and of local development.
As such, and considering that we are holding this elective General Assembly at a very crucial moment in the life of our country, notably with the Boko Haram insecurity threat, and the Ebola scare, there are certain steps and measures that our association must initiate. As municipal administrators, we should be able to galvanise our collective action, towards helping government and assisting our local communities in facing up to these challenges. For instance, we must intensify vigilance, and remain alert in our communities, without hesitating to denounce suspects, who may be out to jeopardise our security, peace and serenity. At the same time, we must take total control of the basic hygiene and sanitation situation of our local communities, through campaigns that guarantee the good health of our fellow citizens.
Because of all of these, dear colleagues, be it at the level of our various Divisions, or at the Region, the mandate that we shall be giving to our North West UCCC elected officials today, shall be a mandate to cater for the following:
- Getting up from slumber, as has been the case for the past years, and collaborating with the national bureau of UCCC, to fight for the rights of municipal administrators, as well as for proper working conditions, in line with the regulations in force. Here, we are thinking most especially of:
- A defined status for municipal authorities, be they Government Delegates, Mayors or Councillors.
- Salaries for all municipal authorities, that is, for Government Delegates, Mayors, including Councillors, with the possibility of paying the arrears of these salaries.
- Instituting an endowment fund, as obtains all over the world, whereby about 20% of the national budget is devolved directly to Councils, according to the populations of various Council areas, for equitable development of local communities, and for the protection of our environment, considering that about 50% of our population now lives in urban areas where most of our Councils are.
- Forging solidarity ties between our Councils, so as to foster continuous consultation, not only for the promotion of local development, but also to be able to face the various societal challenges of education, youth unemployment, discrimination against women, infant and child mortality, just to mention a few.
- Promoting good municipal governance, through social dialogue between our Councils, our Cities, the State, our development partners and all those involved in the decentralization process.
- Encouraging decentralized cooperation ties between local, regional, national and international partners for mutual benefits.
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,
As ambitious as the task may be for those who shall champion the affairs of UCCC here in the North West, it is possible for all challenges to be addressed, if, and only if our Councils work in solidarity. It is true that our annual budgets cannot always meet our demands and desires; but for one thing, we must continue to thank government, for making it possible for our Councils to carry out giant projects, through Public-Private Partnership ventures of Build-Operate-Transfer, as per Law No.2006/12 of 12th December 2006, instituting the Partnership Contract System in Cameroon.
At the level of the Bamenda City Council, we have been able to use this law to have deliberations authorizing us to carry out, and to initiate some Public-Private Partnership ventures, some of which are:
- A declaration for public utility by the Ministry of Lands, Survey and State Property, whereby some lands have been ceded to the Bamenda City Council for development projects.
- The construction of close to 300 market sheds.
- The privatization of public stand taps.
- The construction of an ultra-modern, multi-purpose bus station.
- The construction of three modern commodity markets.
- The reclamation of about 500 hectares of wet lands for infrastructural development.
Fellow municipal administrators,
If we at the Bamenda City Council can do all these, then it is possible for all of your Councils to do same. Yet, as ambitious as our vision is, our leitmotif is, “If we do not dream, and dream really big, then we shall never achieve anything.” It is thus from the backdrop this vision, that I once more welcome all of you here today, as we converge to give our association a new driving force.
Thank you for your kind attention.
Vincent Nji Ndumu.