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After FCFA 400 Million Embezzlement; MINADER Renews Confidence In SOWEFCU 

By Maxcel Fokwen

CameroonPostline.com — The President of the Southwest Farmers Cooperative Union, SOWEFCU, Patrick Esapa Enyong, has declared that the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, MINADER, has renewed its confidence in the activities of the Union. The decision, The Post learnt, comes after the financial scandals that rocked the enterprise in January 2013.

Esapa made the disclosure to The Post, Friday, January 10, at the Union’s head office in Kumba, while looking at the road covered by SOWEFCU one year after the financial scandal that caused the Union to lose its technical and financial partners. According to Esapa, since taking over as President, he has signed a new convention with MINADER, SOWEDA and also established new links with other local and international partners.

All these, the SOWEFCU President said, will enable the Union to achieve its goals of producing 4,000 tons of cocoa in 2014, diversify production and consequently improve on the living condition of farmers. Assessing the impact of the new management, Esapa asserted that he has done over 90 percent of in-house cleaning to regain the confidence of their partners and farmers.

The fruits of such achievements, Esapa noted, is the current application by over 10 cooperative societies expressing their wish to join SOWEFCU and a new vehicle given to the Union by MINADER. Concerning the disparity that ensued in the actual amount of money embezzled at SOWEFCU by the former management, Esapa put the figure at FCFA 400 million in liquid cash.

He explained that the exact amount of the money involved is yet to be known because the auditors were yet to conclude on money involving chemicals. However, the case is still at the level of the Examining Magistrate in the Meme Legal Department. Esapa told The Post that he is handling the matter with precaution to ensure that the results are satisfactory to all the parties, especially the farmers.

It would be recalled that in January 2013, an audit report carried out by Henry Enongene unveiled financial scandals at SOWEFCU. Enongene had, in an interview with the press, declared that between 2008 and 2012, the Government pumped in some FCFA 2 billion into SOWEFCU, but the money was greatly mismanaged by the Bernard Betanga-led management.

First published in The Post print edition no 01496

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