By Loubna Flah
By Loubna Flah
Morocco World News
Casablanca, April 28, 2012
All those who expected a heroic media appearance from Morocco’s Minister of Transport and Equipment to finally disclose the list of sand quarries beneficiaries will have to adjourn their dreams for the moment. According to the Moroccan weekly Al Ousbou Assahafi, Mr. Rebbah, Minister of Transport and Equipment declared that the list is ready, yet its publication is more likely to be postponed. The disclosure of the list of people who benefit from public transport agreement had galvanized a public opinion avid of transparency proofs.
The minister of transport and equipment asserted that he is unlikely to publish the full list of sand Quarries’ beneficiaries. In fact, some lands where the sand quarries are located are under the jurisdiction of other ministries, namely the ministry of agriculture and the ministry of interior who have an exclusive access to the list of beneficiaries.
It is worth recalling that the sand quarries exploitation is a highly lucrative business. With a low investment costs, this sector generates high revenues amounting to billions of Dirhams. Nevertheless, the sand quarries business remains highly competitive which often triggers antagonism among its major stakeholders.
Mr. Abdelkarim Ghellab, the former minister of transport and equipment had designed a cutting edge strategy when he was in office. That strategy aimed at substituting the sand quarries with sand extracted from the high seas in some areas such as Nadour, Tangiers n Tetouan, Casablanca, Essaouira and Agadir. Yet, this alternative plan is likely to face disapproval from environmentalists. As the construction sector is booming in major urban areas, the demand for sand is on the rise, which opens the way to illegal practices that often operate outside the state’s jurisdiction.
The opacity over the list of sand quarries beneficiaries has cast doubt over the PJD’s ability to conduct safely and successfully its eradication venture against corruption. In fact, the dismantlement of corruption lobbies has turned to be extremely laborious especially within a frail coalition government. The dissonance between the government ministers over crucial issues remains a major hindrance towards the implementation of the “promised” reforms.