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President Biya Offers FCFA 250 Million to Bakassi Fire Victims

Bakassi-Peninsula-Community

Minister René Emmanuel Sadi made the announcement Saturday as he criss-crossed the area to ascertain government’s continuous determination to develop the locality. The working visit will remain enshrined in the annals of the people of Bakassi. It was not only the first official visit of the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation (MINATD), but when René Emmanuel Sadi came visiting on April 17-18, 2015, he did not come empty-handed. In his package, he unfolded what the government has realized, and the determination of the authorities to make Bakassi a place to be, a place where business strives and where tourism flourishes.

FCFA 250 Million for Shell Creek

As in other localities visited, the people of Shell Creek fishing port in Idabato Subdivision that was hit by a fire disaster last December turned out in teeming numbers on Saturday, April 18, 2015 to give Minister René Emmanuel Sadi a befitting reception.

The inferno destroyed 126 homes, left 1,500 persons homeless, two men severely injured and a child of five years missing till date. After being welcomed by the administrative and traditional authorities of the area, the Minister channelled the compassion of the Presidential Couple and announced that President Paul Biya has ordered for the disbursement of FCFA 250 million to Shell Creek through the Governor of the South West Region.

Addressing the people, the Governor of the South West Region, Bernard OkaliaBilai said modern and fire-resistant houses have been conceived to ensure that even if there is another fire incident, the damages will not be devastating. The South West Regional Delegate for Urban Development and Housing then presented a model sample of the type of houses envisaged. The walls will be of zinc, roof of zinc and floor also of zinc while the houses will be carried one metre from the ground. The spaces between the houses will have a distance of five metres and there will be one and two bed rooms apartments with kitchens to dry fish.

Akwa and Isangele

This  optimism to transform the Bakassi peninsular was re-echoed in Akwa, the headquarter of KomboAbedimo Subdivision where the Minister inaugurated the magnificent Council Hall offered by the government through the Special Council Support Fund for Mutual Assistant (FEICOM). The building, the Minister said, stands as a clear indication of the unflinching political will of President Paul Biya to give the municipal authorities of KomboAbedimo and the people of Bakassi, adequate conditions to serve the people and the nation.

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He called on the Mayor and his assistants to be devoted, to contribute their own quota in the development of the locality, to become economic actors and agents of development. He cautioned them not to sit waiting for means and resources from the central administration; but to mobilize and judiciously manage existing resources to develop the municipality.

While promising to provide additional funds for the running of the councils in Bakassi, Minister René Emmanuel Sadi enumerated efforts being made by his ministerial department through FEICOM and the General Decentralisation Funds in the building of town halls, potable water schemes, bridges, schools, markets and health centres in the area. He underscored the peaceful co-existence between Cameroonians and Nigerians living in Bakassi, and stressed on the strict abidance of the law and regulations that govern Cameroon.

After the Akwa lap, the Minister went to see things for himself with a visit to Isangele where he held a working session at the Divisional Officer’s residence.

Problems, Solutions

The fire disaster at Shell Creek notwithstanding, there was other teething problems that the people presented. Mr.Ntimi Oliver Akan, the Mayor of Idabato whose municipal jurisdiction extends to Shell Creek, requested for the recreation of the Rio Del Rey Division with headquarters at Isangele. He said insecurity from pirates was a serious concern and the few security men in the area were inadequate to face the challenge. The Mayor pleaded that taxes from fishing trawlers be paid to councils in Bakassi. And for embankments to be built at Idabato to curb erosion. “If not,” he warned “Idabato will cease to exist in the coming years!”

Mayor Aboko Patrick Anki of the KomboAbedimo Council called for the tarring of the Akwa-Mundemba road, a division with headquarters at Isangele, the rotation of civil servants to avoid frustration and creation of a Bakassi Development Council to monitor the realization of projects.

To these worries, Minister René Emmanuel Sadi assured them that his competent services will keenly examine the problems raised for appropriate solutions.

Peter EFANDE

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