15, March 2019
Will Cameroon be ready to host AFCON 2021? The answer is a resounding “NO” even if peace returns to Southern Cameroons. Today, Friday, March 15, 2019, employees of Prime Potomac working on AFCON projects in Garoua were tear-gassed and dispersed by police after a sit-in strike at the Governor’s office. Prime Potomac says work has stopped on all its projects because the government has not paid its invoices to the tune of FCFA 3 billion; hence the company, like others involved in AFCON projects, cannot pay its staff. Instead of settling its outstanding bills, Tourism and Leisure Minister, Bello Bouba has inform the SG at the Presidency; Ngoh Ngoh who awarded the contracts to Prime Potomac, that going forward, supervisory authority over the contracts will be done by the Governor, who now has the sole power to authorize and pay for expenses. This will obviously precipitate a protracted legal fracas that might stall the projects.
Without any public tenders, Prime Potomac was awarded four contracts worth FCFA 26 billion. They include constructing four (4) new training stadiums- (Coton Sport, Poumpoumre, CENAJES, Rey-re); rehabilitate the Benoue Hotel; construct a new 4-star hotel with 103 rooms and 8 suites. These projects were due to be completed by March 31, 2019.
It has been said that if you fail to plan; then you are planning to fail. Two years is not far; just imagine the international embarrassment and national disgrace if Cameroon loses the right to host AFCON 2021…Remember, no one has been held accountable for the AFCON 2019 debacle.