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Cameroonian Officials Stash FCFA 10 Billion In Swiss Bank 

By Yerima kini Nsom
Some 20 Cameroonian officials are reported to own huge accounts at the Swiss branch of the British Bank, HSBC Bank, that amount to over FCFA 10 Billion.
The revelation is contained in the French authoritative newspaper, Le Monde and other western publications. The scandal, known as Swiss leaks, hit the world with the force of a tornado on February 8. Going by Le Monde newspaper, Cameroonian personalities were among those patronising the bank, at the expense of their country’s economy that has been tethered to stunted growth over the last decade.

Observers hold that such personalities are the real murderers of the Cameroonian economy, given that, the country’s treasury is gasping for breath, while they are feeding foreign banks with huge sums of the tax payers’ money. Such a situation speaks volumes about money laundry or tax evasion that is sentencing the country’s treasury to dire straits.

However, Cameroonians are among other nationals that have been feeding the banks with colossal sums of tax payers’ money. Nigerians, Ivoirians, Chadians and Gabonese personalities are also in the racket.
Le Monde revealed that 379 Ivorian personalities have saved a total of FCFA 87 billion in the banks. About 336 Nigerians are patronising the bank with CFA 122 billion, while 14 Gabonese officials have FCFA 2 billion in the coffers of the bank. The bank is also lodging FCFA 55 billion from 14 Chadians officials.

The newspaper that published the racket withheld the names of these African officials that are committing murder on the economies of their countries because of greed and the unquenchable thirst for self- aggrandisement.
Meantime, the King of Morocco, Mohammed IV, is said to be co-owner of an account with his Private Secretary that has a circa FCFA 6 billion. The son of the former Ivorian President, Henri Konan Bedie, is also said to have a huge sum of money at the bank. Officials from some 200 countries in the world are owners of very lucrative accounts at the bank.

Corruption remains the bane of Cameroon’s economy that has been stagnating in the past decade. The much protected two-digit growth remains a pipe dream.
Nevertheless, authorities are fighting hard to render absolute a World Bank study, Doing Business that has, over the years, identified Cameroon as one of those countries where it is very difficult to start a business.

According to the Minister of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicraft, Laurent Serge Etoudi Ngoa, centres for the creation of small and medium size enterprises have been working since 2010. Such centres are found in Yaounde, Douala, Bafoussam, Bamenda, Limbe, Garoua, and Maroua.

He said the centres in Bertoua and Ngoundere will be created next year. The Minister revealed that such centres have made it possible for business people to create enterprises without stress.
As of now, there are 32,773 enterprises in Cameroon created by 31.297 Cameroonians and 1,476 by foreigners.

Despite this, there are still complaints by business people that starting a business in Cameroon is immersed in administrative bottlenecks and corruption. Such a situation scares away investors from the country.

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