Olembe stadium construction site, the Minister of Sports confirms the release of 6 billion CFA francs to the company Magil Construction Corporation. However, a discriminatory payment of invoices of its partners is denounced while the silhouettes of some members of the government are walking behind the subcontractors.
A5 NEWS – Following the convention of 55 billion CFA francs signed by the President of the Republic for the completion of the works of the Olembe stadium complex, the subcontractors thought they would receive their bills since January 2020.
The suffering subcontractors
It all began in December 2019, when the Piccini group was withdrawn from the construction of the Olembe sports complex in favour of the Magil company. From then on, the Magil company started to complete the work with the contribution of subcontractors such as the French companies CEGELEC and OMNIUM without a clearly defined contract beforehand. But time is running out, not a penny.
From mid-March 2020, a dozen other Cameroonian subcontractors (3N, PERFECT Company, GES, FA, PIC …) will be awarded lots for the completion of the work, under the condition of pre-financing the work for possible payment in June 2020. It must be said that they did not know what they were getting into. In June, Magil did not honour its commitments. On the contrary, the Canadian company will once again postpone the start of payments until November 2020. Once again, no funding from the Canadian company arrives. That same month, the work was stopped.
From then on, the subcontractors were left to their own devices. A meeting was held on 26 March 2020 between Magil and Minsep officials headed by Dr Ntolo. At the end of this meeting, the State announced the release of 6 billion dollars to Magil. The only drawback is that the service provider wants to be paid in Canada.
Except that this money will be used to pay its external debts. Consequently, no Cameroonian subcontractor will be paid. The inaction of the Cameroonian state in the face of such discrimination, despite being informed of the situation, suggests complicity between Minsep and Magil. According to the cries, the Canadian builder had conditioned the resumption of work by the payment of the accounts. This is the beginning of Magil’s antics at Olembe.
Strike and blockade
The main reason for the postponement of the official ceremony for the taking over of the main stadium in Olembe is due to the fact that this company is demanding the release of an envelope for the realization of external works.
What does this postponement actually hide? The truth is that Narcisse Mouelle Kombi, Minister of Sports and Physical Education, the project manager has used his network of contacts to bring Razel as reinforcements in this site. With a view to completing the external works, the company had been working hard for several months. But it was not an easy task. Faced with the delay in payment accumulated two years after Magil Construction Corporation took over the site, Razel went on strike on Thursday, December 2, 2021, to claim its envelope.
After the attempt to transfer nearly 3 billion CFA francs into its account in Canada, blocked by the BEAC, the contractor proceeds to discriminate in the payment of its partners’ invoices.
The latter are threatening and accusing Magil Construction Corporation of not paying their invoices. This threat came just a few hours before the reception of the building by Caf. However, the Canadian company had just been paid 21 billion by the Cameroonian government. Indeed, since the site was withdrawn from the Italian Piccini to the benefit of Magil, the company had opted for subcontracting. This was done with 19 subcontractors divided into 197 sites. Some of them had taken it upon themselves to pre-finance the work. But several times their invoices were not paid on time. This is why there were repeated strikes on the work site.
According to the complaints of some subcontractors, who have already completed their part of the work, “Even the movable goods that Magil uses are rented”, we were told.
Temporary demobilisation during the Can TotalEnergies 2021
In a letter dated December 31, 2021, Frank Mathiere wrote to subcontractors and other companies about the temporary demobilisation of the site in view of the Can Total Energies 2021.
The project itself being the completion of the Olembe Sports Complex in the city of Yaounde. The note expressly states “that in view of the holding of the Can (…) we notify you that it will no longer be possible to carry out construction activities during the duration of this sporting event for security and insurance reasons.” On the eve of the opening of the Can, we note that the works are not yet completed. This stoppage of work is an ideal opportunity to say: whether it is the work itself on the ground, or even the top management of this company, there is a kind of crisis.
All attempts by La Voix Des Décideurs to get the Magil Construction Corporation’s side of the story were unsuccessful. The Cameroonian Minister of Sports and Civic Education, Pr Narcisse Mouelle KOMBI, has not yet responded to our request.