By Christopher AmbeSouthwest Governor Bernard Okalia Bilai has used the occasion of the commissioning into office of some 17 regional delegates and heads of services recently appointed in the Region, to assert his authority and personality.
It was not immediately clear why Mr.Bilai, who has been governor now for over three years, chose to remind his collaborators and the public about the powers he wields; but critical observers believed his junior collaborators heading services must have been undermining his authority to deal directly with hierarchy in Yaoundé.
|Some of the newly installed delegates & service heads in family picture with Gov. Okalia(middle)|
Commissioning into office the service heads and regional delegates, last March 6 at CNPS hall in Buea, the Governor banked on Decree No.2008/377 of 12 November 2008 to lay down the powers and duties of heads of administrative units to assert his authority.
Mr.Bilai emphatically cited article 3 (1) & (2) of the above mentioned decree, which states that “The Governor and the Senior Divisional Officer shall in the Region and Division respectively, be the representatives of the President of the Republic, the Government and each of the Ministers.” This, he noted, means that the governor is the general supervisor, coordinator and controller of the de-concentrated government services in the Region, as well as Commander-in-Chief of the Region.
Mr. Bilai stressed that regional delegates and those ranking as such do not represent their ministries but are merely technical advisers of the Governor, who is the direct representative of the various ministers.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that, henceforth movements of regional delegates out of the Region –even when summoned by their ministers must receive approval from the Governor, who will sign the mission order accompanied by justifying documents”, Mr. Bilai warned.
He also warned them not to use the cover of their ministers to justify individual shortcomings, but called for strict respect of hierarchy and administrative ethics, mastery of existing working documents and frank collaboration.
Concerning the execution of public investment budget, he urged service heads to “abandon the old habit of validating reports from the comfort of their offices and go down to the field in order to avoid being misled or endorsing embarrassing errors which are sometimes caused by your collaborators”.
Mr. Bilai said service heads/delegates would be personally held responsible for short comings in the execution of earmarked projects.
He equally warned them to shun “habitual negative practices of favoritism, tribalism, nepotism, complacency and complicity, which, the Governor said, have repeatedly been decried by Cameroonians in general.
He instructed them: “You must particularly wage a merciless war against corruption, instilling in your collaborators the notions of professional consciousness, moral rectitude, selfless and prompt services.”
The Regional CEO said renewal of heads of services is aimed fundamentally to re-dynamise out-put with the view to meeting- more effectively, the development aspirations and legitimate expectations of public service users.
The newly installed officials are:Tanyi Tanyi Willington,Regional Delegate for Public Works;Mr. Ngaima, Regional Delegate for MINEPAT;Mrs. Nouboue nee Monguen Alice, Regional Controller of Finance; Dr.Mrs. Chiawah Cecilia Ebonkeng Mungo, Regional Delegate for Livestock,Fisheries & Aminam Industries;Mr. Nkwelle Epie Time,Regional Delegate for Post & Telecommunications;Mr.Etah Enow Moses,Delegate of Mines,Industry & Technological Development;Mr. Enongene Felix Elung, Regional Delegate for State Property, Survey & Land Tenure;Mr. Ivo Vevanje,Regional Delegate for Transport;Mr. Lihinack Josue,Regional Chief for Taxes;Mr. Bipane Abanda Denis,Regional Delegate for Trade; Madam Muna Rosette Bih,Regional Delegate for Communication;Mr.Igondoh John Atosoh,Regional Delegate of Employment & Vocational Training;Mr. Ekwadi Songue Set,Delegate of Environment& Protection of Nature;Mr. Enang James Enang,Regional Delegate for MINADER;Bake Irene Lobe, Delegate of Small & Medium-size Enterprises; Ngo Grace Ewang Ngobiesalaka,Regional Delegate for Arts & Culture and Mr. Ebai Maurice Atine,Regional Delegate for Basic Education.
It should be noted that some of the delegates were appointed as far back as 2013.
The Governor said the delay to install them into their offices (although they were already working after technical handing over ceremonies) was due to preparations for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Reunification of Cameroon, which took place earlier last year.