Minister for Information reports on issues covered in Council of Ministers

As is the custom, after the meeting of the first Council of Ministers in 2019, the Minister for Information, Press and Radio and Minister Spokesperson for the Government, Eugenio Nze Obiang, appeared before the press to provide details of the agenda for the council, and responded to questions put by journalists.

The Council of Ministers meeting was overseen by the Head of State and President of the Council of Ministers, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and took place on the morning of 14th February, at the People’s Palace in Malabo.

The Vice-President of the Republic, Charged with national Defence and State Security, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue; the Prime Minister of the Government, Charged with Administrative Coordination, Francisco Pascual Obama Asue, and the Vice Prime Ministers, the First, Charged with the Political Sector and Democracy and Minister for the Interior and Local Corporations, Clemente Engonga Nguema Onguene, and the Second, Charged with Judicial Affairs and Parliamentary Relations, A�ngel Mesie Mibuy, attended the meeting, together with other members of the Government based in Malabo.

The agenda covered nine points. The first was in reference to the Draft Laws on Government, on General State Administration and on Common Administrative Procedures, presented by the department of Judicial Affairs and Parliamentary Relations, to address the need to provide the General State Administration with modern legal texts in accordance with the evolution, complexity and modernity currently enjoyed in the public administration, and to establish administrative organisational policies that make up a judicial distribution of the powers, responsibilities and prerogatives of the bodies which form the structure of the General State Administration, to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness and rationality in its actions; and for the convenience of the development of the faculties of the executive of the General State Administration that Basic Law gives to the Council of Ministers, together with the leadership, management and administration of public services entrusted to the ministries in matters falling to their various departments; and taking into account the desire to regulate the sanctioning power of the public administration, which is based on principles of legality, actus reus, responsibility, proportionality, and the presumption of innocence.

The Minister for Information pointed out that “this Draft law will provide the General State Administration with new modern laws which respond to the need to provide the administration with more modern and effective legal means as required by the administration, and the project was also adopted by the Council of Ministers”.

The following matter was the Draft Decree to open the agricultural campaign for 2018-2019, presented by the Department for Agriculture, Forests and the Environment. Eugenio Nze Obiang said that the present decree covered data from the last campaign, as farmers had begun their work and expected to obtain as a minimum the same yields as the last campaign, in which the Department for Agriculture, through IMPAGE, recovered the productive activity for cocoa in the Continental Region of 8061 kg, a low amount in principle, and for which a progressive increase in expected over coming campaigns. In order to maintain the expectations created by farmers and to continue to incentivise the activity, the Ministry for Agriculture has decided to maintain the prices from the last campaign, in accordance with the following:

Cocoa: Grade 1, 1,010 Fcfa kilo; Grade 2, 900 Fcfa kilo; Grade 3, 450 Fcfa kilo.

The internal prices for consumables (copper sulphate and quicklime) are way below international prices; the current differential is the subsidy that the Government agreed with the producers of cocoa, which justifies the subsidy that the Government maintains with the sub sector; although a 200 kg drum of quicklime costs 60,000 Fcfa. However, it makes available for the producer 10,000 Fcfa, and a 25 kg sack of copper sulphate pentahydrate costs 62,288 Fcfa. The Government is lowering them to 5,000 Fcfa. This provision was also approved without amendment.

During the council meeting, they also analysed toe Draft Decree ordering the new method of payment for the entry-access quotas and monthly payments for protected social housing, presented by the departments for Public Works, Housing and Town Planning, and Finance, the Economy and Planning. This project was submitted to the consideration of the Council of Ministers, and also received approval from the senior body of Government.

The Minister for Information said that the Government had taken this correct decision taking into account that the situation of the global economic crisis has altered the foundations of Equatoguinean society, which made it difficult for the population to access protected social housing and face the obligations they had committed to. In addition, the situation infringes upon and reveals the purchasing power of the population to access and guarantee enjoyment of their basic fundamental rights, such as access to decent housing. The Government, conscious of this situation, has seen the need to adopt regulations that clarify, extend and improve the conditions of access and permanence in protected social housing, adopting a structure of prices and quotas that will be updated whenever circumstances demand this”, added the Minister.

The new payment methods for the entry, access and monthly payment quotas for protected social housing, better known as social housing, are the following:

(A) Residence type Buena Esperanza: Entry quota, previous tariff 1,500,000 Fcfa; approved tariff 500,000 Fcfa. Monthly quota, previous tariff 71,000 Fcfa; approved tariff 50,000 Fcfa.

(B) Flat type Malabo and Bata: Entry quota: previous tariff 2,500,000 Fcfa, approved tariff 1,000,000 Fcfa; monthly quota; 200,000 Fcfa, approved quota, 70,000 Fcfa.

(C) Flat type in other non-urban districts: Entry quota: previous tariff 2,500,000 Fcfa, approved tariff 750,000 Fcfa; monthly quota; 200,000 Fcfa, approved quota, 70,000 Fcfa.

(D) Urban districts: Entry quota, previous tariff 600,000 Fcfa; approved tariff 300,000 Fcfa. Monthly quota, previous tariff 71,000 Fcfa; approved tariff 30,000 Fcfa.

(Indicating that within the monthly quotas the 10,000 Fcfa for maintenance is included).

The approved price/quota structure will govern all residences for which accounts have not been set up and whose payments have not been concluded. On the date of approving the decree, residences with completed payments will be exempt; however, their owners will pay 10,000 per month for the maintenance quota.

In any other business, the organising committee for the Third national Economic Conference presented dates for holding the economic event; the technical conferences will take place from 22nd to 26th April; the Forum on the Empowerment of Women, Youth and the Demographic Dividend will take place on 27th April. On 28th April there will be a games event in Malabo national Park, organised by the United nations, and from 2nd to 4th may the work of the Political Conference will take place.

For his part, the Minister of State from the Presidency of the Republic, Charged with Missions, reported on the latest official trips carried out by the President, H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, to New York and Addis Abeba. Equatorial Guinea, under the leadership and political vision of H. E. Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, had the privilege for the first time of beginning the position of Non-permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, the highest international decision-making body, charged with maintaining international peace and security. After more than a year on the Security Council, Equatorial Guinea has the great honour and responsibility to oversee the working agenda of the council during February 2019, under the banner “Threat to international peace and security: silence arms in Africa for 2020”.

With the aim of beginning the presidency of the United Nations Security Council, held by Equatorial Guinea for February, which began with a top level debate on mercenary activities as a source of insecurity and destabilisation in Central Africa, in accordance with the programme devised to this end, the President of the Republic once again invited members of the Executive to assume their responsibilities and show dynamism and rigour in the performance of their functions.

He also urged them to oversee current account income, the strengthening of measures for vigilance, and the concerns of the Government to execute pending projects. To do this, he announced to his closest collaborators that, in the near future, the Executive would move to the continental part to promote pending Government actions in that area of our country.

Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office

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