Communication Minister and Government Spokesperson, Issa Tchiroma Bakary, says the ongoing crisis in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon is not in any way related to the slow implementation of the decentralisation process in the country.
“The ongoing problem in the Northwest and Southwest Regions of Cameroon is not in any related to the slow implementation of the decentralisation process,” Tchiroma stated.
Speaking on April 12 in a press conference, the Communication Minister alongside experts from the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation reiterated that much has been achieved as far as the implantation of the decentralisation process is concerned.
Going by him, implementing decentralisation is a complicated situation that needs time since Government cannot fulfil the demands of the process overnight.
“The process of decentralisation is a complicated process, but what is certain is that Government is bent on implementing the system. The process will continue and will go to an end even though some major challenges are faced.”
Recalling that the mode of organisation and administration of the State originated from the deep history of Cameroon, the Communication boss said, the Constitution of June 2, 1972 actually offered only limited prospects for the strengthening of decentralisation.
Tchiroma further averred that the Constitution of January 18, 1996, came in to give a new impetus and a more ambitious content to decentralisation.
“This fundamental change therefore paved the way for a genuine strengthening of the decentralisation process.”
Concerning the transfer of competences and resources, 60 of the 63 competences devolved to 20 Ministerial Departments were effectively transferred by the State to local and city councils as of December 31, 2015.
With regard to the financial resources legally allocated to the Regional and Local Authorities by the transfer of taxation, by allocation or by both, the amount allocated for the period 2010-2015 amounted to FCFA 251 billion.
The Minister, however, noted that the State has already transferred the commonly called “windscreen license” royalties to Regional and Local Authorities , the local development tax, a proportionate share of the supplementary municipal tax and a proportionate share of the annual forestry royalty.
Within five years, the State has repaid nearly FCFA 600 billion to Regional and Local Authorities within the framework of transfer of powers.
On why Government has not put in place Regional Councils as stated by the Constitution, experts from Territory Administration said the process is a gradual process and that with the putting in place of the Senate, there is hope that there is no turning back.
Despite challenges in effectively implementing the decentralisation process, the Minister and experts from the Ministry of Territorial Administration said, the decentralisation process is an obligation for the Government.