President Paul BIYA chaired a Council of Ministers meeting at the Unity Palace on Thursday 15 March 2018. This was the first contact with Members of Government after the 2nd March cabinet reshuffle and the first of such cabinet meeting since 2015.
Below is Mr Biya's full speech at his rare cabinet meeting:
COUNCIL OF MINISTERS MEETING FOLLOWING THE CABINET RESHUFFLE OF 2 MARCH 2018
******* ADDRESS BY THE HEAD OF STATE Yaounde,
15 March 2018
Mr. Prime Minister,
Honourable Members of Government, You are welcome to Unity Palace on the occasion of this Council of Ministers Meeting which is taking place following the cabinet reshuffle of 2 March 2018. I would like to warmly congratulate those who have been newly promoted, as well as those who have been maintained.
Do strive to be worthy of the trust bestowed upon you! I urge you to work diligently so that, together, we meet the multiple challenges confronting our country. Our people expect nothing less from us. Ladies and Gentlemen, Despite an unfavourable global economic context, the consolidation of our economic performance, the improvement of our people’s living conditions and the fight against unemployment must remain the Government’s core priorities. In this light, it is necessary to pursue the smooth implementation of the Programme concluded with the IMF.
There is also an urgent need to finalize the implementation of major structuring projects, the Emergency Growth Acceleration Plan and the Special Youth Plan. The operationalization of the Kribi Deep Sea Port and the second bridge over the Wouri augur well in that regard. 2 These and many other projects that have been or are soon to be completed may be commissioned this year. However, despite these excellent performances, we must not forget that much remains to be done. As I underscored recently in my message to the Nation, the Government should continue to put a special focus on outreach services, such as water and electricity supply, health, and road infrastructure. Ladies and Gentlemen, I strongly reiterate my instructions on the need for judicious use of public resources, reduction of public spending and the fight against corruption.
Each of you, in your respective spheres of competence, should rise to the performance challenge. The pursuit of the general interest and efficiency, solidarity, team spirit and respect for hierarchy, should guide your action at all times and in all circumstances; they constitute the standards by which you will be judged.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Thanks to the firm action of our defence and security forces, we have been able to drastically curb the atrocities perpetrated by criminal groups in the Far North, North-West and South-West Regions. Efforts in that regard need to be continued, especially to ensure that economic and social activities return to normalcy. Our populations countrywide have continued to express their desire to be closely involved in running the affairs that directly impact their daily lives. The creation of the Ministry of Decentralization and Local Development is geared towards speedily addressing these repeated calls.
In the short term, I am expecting detailed proposals and a timeline for fast-tracking the on-going decentralization process. 3 Several elections are scheduled for this year, starting with the senatorial elections which will be held in the days ahead. Necessary measures must be taken to ensure that they are conducted in total calm and security.
The effective establishment of the Constitutional Council, whose members have just taken the oath of office, is a further guarantee of our determination to forge ahead with our democratic process. The necessary resources must be provided to ensure its optimal functioning. I am pleased with the efforts made thus far regarding preparations for AFCON 2019. I urge the various government services concerned to step up these efforts for Cameroon, Africa and the world to celebrate a grand and excellent football festival.
Mr. Prime Minister, Honourable Members of Government, The daunting task devolving upon you requires the full and total commitment of each and every one of you. It is your duty to fully mobilize the human resources under your authority to provide concrete answers to the legitimate concerns of our people. Such is and should always be the ultimate goal of your action. Thank you for your attention.