Thursday, October 29, 2020
You are here: Home » Carousel » Chantal Biya’s Colloquium To Rob State Treasury Of FCFA 65 Million Bookmark This Page

Chantal Biya’s Colloquium To Rob State Treasury Of FCFA 65 Million 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Chantal Biya

Chantal Biya

A colloquium on the First Lady, Chantal Biya’s humanitarian activities will leave a huge financial scar of FCFA 65,505,365 on the State treasury, if the organisers realise and execute the budget as planned.

Varsity don and official in the Ministry of Higher Education, Joel Narcisse Meyolo, nursed the idea that was later adopted by many of his colleagues.

Thus, the colloquium, pegged on the humanitarian activities of the First Lady, has been billed for November 1 to 3 at the Yaounde University II in Soa in the Mefou Afamba Division.

But hailing the charitable actions of the Cameroon’s First Lady is not the bone of contention here.
The projected budget of the event is what has stirred so much disapproval in the Yaounde power circles and the social media.

One commentator even said the organisers were “intellectual scammers” who want to use the First Lady’s name to line their pockets with State funds.

According to the organisers, the colloquium that was tailored to glorify the First Lady will cost FCFA 65,505,365.

The projected budget is broken down as follows: Communication: FCFA 30,405,000, Feeding: FCFA 9,000,000, allowances to resource persons and members of the organising committee: FCFA 18,000,000, transportation and lodging of invitees FCFA 8,100,385.

The Post learnt that the different Ministries and other Government departments have been contacted to bankroll the event.

The Ministry of Youth and Civic Education is said to have responded with a pledge of FCFA 300,000. The Dean of the Faculty of Law and Social Sciences, Magloire Ondoa, reportedly contributed FCFA 5 million.

Social networks have come down hard on the budget which they claim is exorbitant. One social critic and varsity don, Prof. Claude Abe, simply dismissed the idea of the colloquium, saying it was not a priority. Another social critic simply described the budget as a ridiculous way of mocking the poor Cameroonian tax payer.

Many others lauded the idea of the colloquium, saying it would be a sign of gratitude to Cameroon’s First Lady who has done so much to humanity.

They, however, took exception to the overbilling which they claim members of the organising committee have done to make money.

“This budget is indecently high because the organisers will not be renting any hall.

They will have a free hall in Soa with a good public address system. The resource persons will come from the university community in Yaounde, so, why are they allocating huge sums of money for them?” one of them fumed.

Critics went wild with talk that such huge sums of money were going to be shared to individuals at a university campus that has problems of electricity, water, and toilets.

According to sources at the Ministry of Higher Education, Joel Narcisse Meyolo, who, like Chantal Biya, hails from Nanga Eboko in the Centre Region, first nursed the idea.

It was intended to award the First Lady an Honorary Doctorate Degree. The Post learnt that when he shared the idea with many of his colleagues, he was advised to meet officials of the Yaounde University II in Soa.

He reportedly went there when the Rector of the Yaounde University, Prof. Ibrahima Adamou, was on holiday. The first person he sold the idea to was the Technical Adviser to the Rector, Jean Claude Tchouanke.

The Post was told that many officials of the university found the idea very interesting. They decided rather to organise a colloquium as opposed to the original idea of awarding the First Lady an Honorary Doctorate Degree.

Some of them reportedly suggested that the Prime Minister’s wife, Lynda Yang, be made part of the occasion so that it would be easy to bring in her husband to chair the event.

Thus, the Vice Rector in charge of Internal Control and Evaluation, Come Ebana Mvogo and the Vice Rector in charge of Teaching, Professionalisation and Development, Adolphe Minkoa She, decided to send out appeal letters for the sponsorship of the colloquium.

They are said to have succeeded in getting the approval of the Prime Minister.

It is reported that when the Yaounde University Rector, Prof. Ibrahima Adamou came back from break, he found a letter from the Secretary General at the Prime Minister’s Office, indicating that the Head of Government will chair the event.

The Rector was reportedly perplexed, given that he was not aware of what was going on. He decided to present the issue to his boss, the Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Jacques Fame Ndongo.

It was at this point that the Minister learnt about the issue and that one of his collaborators was the main initiator of the colloquium.

Observers are wondering if the colloquium will truly honour Cameroon’s First Lady, given that it has generated a lot of tongue wagging.

Many hold that anything in honour of the First Lady who is imbued with the milk of human kindness is not supposed to generate so much controversy.

One critical varsity don, Dr. Eric Mathias Nguini Owona, has told off negative critics, stressing the relevance of the colloquium.