Cameroon – Infrastructure: The Paul Biya stadium “dans la sauce”?

Written by Deckson N.

The Italian company Piccini, which has been installed since March 2016 on the site to house the future stadium of Olembé in the suburbs of Yaoundé, is one year behind the construction of this sports infrastructure with a capacity of 60,000 seats.

In Yaounde, it’s the same weather. That of stammering and uncertainty. The construction of the Paul Biya stadium in Olembé is in total fog. Nothing advances. In order to catch up with the company’s delay, Sam Thamin, director of the project, told two of our colleagues in the government daily that the stadium will be constructed of prefabricated materials.

This implies importing prefabricated parts to be installed directly on the site, instead of building everything on site. It will also be necessary to rent boats to transport everything to Cameroon. In short, we will do what is necessary to make up for the delays that are imperative, “he said not without confiding that we can not begin the work on such a large scale without studies validated by the ministerial commission put in place for this purpose.

Officials on the dock

An implicit way of pointing an accusing finger at the officials of the relevant ministries. They are recognized as record-breakers of files that are allowed to melt in the drawers because of the inertia that has invested this environment like an octopus. The Olembe stadium, which is co-financed by the Italian bank Intesa San Paolo and the Cameroonian state, is in fact an overall delay of several orders, amounting to 163 billion CFA francs.

The contracts were signed in December 2015 and the first study was submitted in March 2016. The technical committee that was set up did not have funding. The members nevertheless began the work around November 2016. But afterwards, the engines have started to turn to a dead center, “says Sam Thamin.

On the site, everyone agrees that the blockages and the delay accused by the actual start of work, come from the Presidency of the Republic. The name of a certain Ayem Jean Claude, technical adviser to the presidency of the Republic; Appointed by the Head of State, all expectations turned towards this man, we are told, are counterproductive, insusceptible results.

Technical and financial issues

Revelations that leave a thick fog around the realization of this project through which the host country of 2019 AfCON intends to seduce the inspectors of the CAF, announced in Cameroon next month for a third visit. Indeed, if the Olembé stadium is to host matches of this competition which is played in January, the infrastructure must be completed three months before, i.e in September 2018, according to the requirements of the CAF. Therefore, until the technical and financial issues are resolved, the company has deforested the site of 320,000 m2, equivalent to about 15 kilometers of road. She has just finished with the embankments. Will they be on time? No one knows.

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Deckson N.

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