(Business in Cameroon) - Currently, operators in charge of the construction of the 60-km Yaoundé-Douala highway are owed XAF33.39 billion. This is an estimate the said operators presented to the Minister of Public Works Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi on February 22, 2021, in Yaoundé, during the assessment of the completion of the road infrastructures being built in Cameroon. According to the operators, the owed amounts could delay the completion of that road infrastructure connecting the country’s two main cities.
Specifically, China First Highway Engineering Company Ltd (CFHEC) is owed XAF32.45 billion while the control mission (SCET Tunisie/Louis Berger) is owed XAF865.9 million and Laboratoire national du génie civil (Labogénie) XAF71.3 million.
Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi assures the operators that the owed amounts would be paid to them so that the infrastructure, which is already 96% completed, will be delivered by December 31, 2021. "As far as the payment is concerned, by the end of our assessment mission early next week, we will hold consultative meetings with payment providers. As for you, you should forward us your expectations. The secretary-general of the Ministry of Public Works will contact you for your engagement plan," the official said.
The Ministry of Public Works reveals that for the construction of the Yaoundé-Douala road, XAF243.9 billion has already been paid to service providers. CFHEC has already received XAF238.19 billion, SCET Tunisie-Louis Berger has received XAF4.66 billion, and Labogenie XAF1.11 billion.
The Yaoundé-Douala highway project aims to build a modern road network of about 215 km between the two most important cities of the country. The estimated cost of the first phase varies between XAF284 (excluding taxes) and 338.7 billion (all taxes included).
During the ongoing Phase 1, a 2 x 2 lane highway (extensible to 3 lanes) over approximately 60 kilometers, from kilometer point 0 to the Bibodi interchange will be constructed.
For the 2nd phase of the highway (136 km) linking Yaoundé and Douala, the Ministry of Public Works estimate the construction cost at XAF812.8 billion (excluding taxes).
According to the World Bank, the cost of this highway is too high compared to similar African projects. In a report published in 2018, the international financial institution reveals that the Yaoundé-Douala highway will eventually reach a cost of 11 million USD (nearly XAF6.5 billion) per kilometer while it is 3.5 million USD (about XAF2 billion) in Côte d'Ivoire and 3 million USD (nearly XAF1.7 billion) in Morocco.