The Mayor of Belo council in Boyo Division of the North West is determined to restore the Municipality to its past glories through the ‘Great Vision Project’.
Once upon a time, the Belo Municipality thrived. With a population of over 62000 people, the area boasted of an economy which in 2016 ranked it first in the North West region in terms of revenue collection. Then, economic activities were at their peak. Education wise, the municipality counted reputable schools top of which was St. Bedes, a veritable education haven that saw children from all over the country gather to gain knowledge.
In the health domain, the Mbingo Baptist Hospital was its pride. Renowned for its quality health services it was the reference par excellence in the region as people suffering from diverse pathologies came in search for medical attention. In the agricultural sector, the municipality made its mark in cattle rearing, surpassing other areas in the region in terms of the herds of cattle found here. Mention is also made of the Ndawara tea factory that produced top quality tea consumed and appreciated beyond the borders of the country. These and more made the economy boom and the people were the first beneficiaries. With the advent of the socio-political crisis in the Anglophone regions, the economy took a down turn, people fled homes and gloom set in like a heavy blanket covering all sectors.
Four years into the crisis, Mayor Ngong Innocent Ankiambom is intent on rewriting the story of Belo Council area through the ‘Great vision project’. Several schemes have been earmarked to help the municipality shake off the ashes of stagnation and develop. “Under this vision, we have a good number of programs with the first being education. We have begun implementing this by assisting pupils and students with didactic materials for the 2021-2022 academic year. We intend to follow this up with the recruitment of teachers which we are working on. We also plan to construct and repair the prison schools” Ngong Innocent says. As concerns health, the council has already recruited 30 health workers and has programs in the water and sanitation sectors, not leaving out environment and tourism. Cognisant that without peace, the journey to achieve all these lofty plans will be perilous, the mayor says there is a program of dialogue and community organisation. The plan is to liaise with traditional, religious and administrative leaders to dialogue as well as reconcile the population to one another and together find ways of addressing their worries “without any propaganda and lies”. The vision is to bring Belo to what is was, before taking other steps to move it towards brighter shores.
The Mayor admits that finances to embark on such a project were made available by government reason for his gratitude to President Paul Biya, visionary Head of State but “like Oliver Twist, our plea is for government to provide us with more funds to carry out other projects that we have earmarked, which will contribute to bring back normalcy in the municipality”.