By Nformi Sonde Kinsai
The Minister of State Property, Surveys and Land Tenure, MINDCAF, Henri Eyebe Ayissi, has said that the State has taken special measures to faithfully fulfill its commitments with the Cameroon Real Estate Corporation, SIC; through special budgetary allocations for annual SIC rents, beginning from the 2022 financial year.
He said the commitments to settle the rents better than in the past, falls within the framework of institutional collaboration between MINDCAF; the Ministry of the Economy, Planning and Regional Development, MINEPAT; and the Ministry of Finance, MINFI.
“This approach falls in line with the need to improve the quality of public expenses by avoiding, especially, the accumulation of arrears for rents. We will make sure that this will be strictly respected,” he promised.
Eyebe Ayissi was speaking at the Yaounde Hilton Hotel on October 25, 2021 during the official signing ceremony of the lease agreement of the “Abiergue” building located in the Yaounde Cité Verte neighbourhood between MINDCAF and SIC. While Eyebe signed for the State of Cameroon, the Director General of SIC, Ahmadou Sardaouna, endorsed for the Real Estate Corporation.
The event was attended by the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Celestine Ketcha Courtés, who is also the Board Chairperson of SIC; the Minister Delegate in MINEPAT, Paul Tasong, and a representative from MINFI.
The Minister said the magnificent “Abiergue” building is one of the products of the implementation of the Contract Plan signed between the State and the SIC, prescribed by President Paul Biya, and which is ongoing since July 2013. He said the building will partly meet the numerous requests for lodging by Cameroonians. He said SIC would be providing decent lodging as their building projects get to completion.
Eyebe noted that the administrative lodging policy put in place by the Head of State permits MINDCAF to acquire buildings on behalf of the State, either for use as offices or to lodge State personnel who fulfill the conditions. Such acquisitions could be from private partners or from SIC in concertation with MINFI that masters State lodging rates and its budgetary support plan. He said the “Abiergue” residence signing agreement came at the right moment when requests for lodging have been registered from some senior functionaries of public administration.
The SIC Director General, Ahmadou Sardaouna, said, within the framework of executing its mission of management and follow-up of administrative lease, MINDCAF signed 20 conventions with SIC for the construction of 261 buildings on the national territory for a total, including all taxes, of FCFA 236,658,142. He said the seven-storey “Abiergue” building, reason for the signing of the lease agreement, was the fruit of the plan contract the Corporation signed with the State on July 8, 2013.
He disclosed that the building covering a total surface area of 1,300 m2 is made up of 24 high standing apartments; a lift; a generator of 33KVA; 25 electrical metres; traffic lights to manage circulation in the 27 personalised parking lots; a waste water treatment station; a fire fighting security system; an extinguisher per apartment and in commonly shared areas; among other facilities. The total monthly amount for rent, without taxes for the building, stands at FCFA 16,858,000.
Sardaouna appealed to MINDCAF to facilitate the delivery of land titles for areas with SIC buildings to the corporation. He outlined three challenges faced when the land still belongs to the State or MAETUR, notably; difficulty of transferring rights to property to those who have acquired the buildings; wrong financial state of the corporation when the pieces of land are registered under SIC when, legally, it is not the owner; and the difficulty of raising finances from donors to build social houses on land that doesn’t belong to SIC.