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Clergymen Bless New CDC Oil Mill 

By Francis Tim Mbom

After the safe completion of the CDC, Cameroon Development Corporation’s, new oil mill at the Boa Plain in Illoani, its General Manager, Henry Njalla Quan, clergymen, a cross section of the corporation’s staff and local Chiefs were at the site on Saturday, June 19, to thank God for a "magnanimous achievement."

New oil mill at Illoani, Bamuso subdivision

The oil mill project, located in Bamuso Sub Division, Ndian, is valued at some FCFA 7 billion and was financed entirely with self generated funds by CDC. It was begun in early 2009.
The Project Manger, Polycarp Chungong, told The Post that after completing the construction and mounting of the mill plant, they were now testing the machines to ascertain performance.

Asked about the results of their trial tests so far, Mr Chungong said they "have been very satisfactory. We just need to do the finishing touches now." It was at the backdrop of the satisfactory completion of the Project that the Njalla Quan and his Management collaborators invited several inhabitants of the Boa area for a thanksgiving ecumenical service that took place at the Oil Mill complex.

"I first of all want to thank the Almighty God for having guided us through turbulent years, through trials and temptation and for having granted us the strength to carry out this project and to be here today," Njalla Quan said. "I want to thank the administration and the Government of Cameroon for having given us all the support needed for us to carry out this project with all administrative confidence."

The GM also thanked the Chiefs of the area for their blessings, the workers of the CDC, especially the engineers and his family for all their support and collaboration. He conveyed thanks from the CDC Board Chair, HRH Tatah Okia Namata Elangwe, whom the GM said could not be present for health reasons. "On behalf of the CDC Board of Directors, we thank God for his grace throughout the construction of the mill, wherein, no major accident occured. I thank all of you who contributed directly or indirectly to make this project a success," Chief Namata wrote.

Prayers for More Progress, Protection

Rev. Fr Vincent Mesue of the Mbonge Parish prayed that God should send His Holy Spirit to continue to guide the Management of CDC, those to run the mill and others, so that work keeps going on well, and as planned, by the CDC. "Father, we ask that You send Your Holy Spirit, to guide and direct the way this company will manage this mill, so that it may be for the good of all.

Guide all those who are in charge, from the General Manager to those who are even just carrying water or the picking of loose palm nuts so that the company shuld continue to progress," Rev. Mesue. Pastor Felix Chua of the Baptist Church in Mbonge, drawing inspiration from Psalm 127:1 noted: "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it". He prayed that God should grant the GM more powers and wisdom so that he could achieve more things for the CDC.

Samples of first milled oil from CDC’s new mill

"With God, the GM will certainly build another mill in the next ten years," he said. In all, he made the audience to understand that success comes but from God and not necessarily through human efforts. The well over ten clergymen present for the service, implored God for, among other things, peace, continuous economic growth, favourable climate for the crops, peaceful co-existence with the foreigners and unity in the church.

The Story of Mill

The GM recounted how the project came about. "We are here today, in response to our Head of State’s orientation to do all we can, to combat poverty and to provide jobs. And that is why very many workers of CDC in Tiko, Limbe and elsewhere, left their homes to come and stay here for more than a year, to realise this dream."

He said that three years ago, the issue of bio-fuels was gaining grounds and he had so many calls from overseas, requesting for tons and tons of crude palm oil. Njalla stated that some Canadians also visited him and promised to work with him to grow palms for the benefit of Cameroonians and for export. "We bought the idea and things went very well." But soon, after initial agreements and other arrangements, Njalla said the Canadians changed their minds and backed out.

"I said they had changed their minds but they have not changed our minds." It was at this point, the GM said, that he came to Illoani, where CDC had already been growing oil palm and talked with the Chiefs about plans to expand the farms. Thus, CDC launched the planting of some 6000 hectares of oil palm, which is still ongoing. And with the drive to increase the acreage, the GM said a decision was taken to build a mill where the fruits shall be milled into oil and other by products like kernels.

"And we said we cannot be growing these palms to carry the nuts right to Idenau for treatment which will be very expensive. We then took the challenge to build this oil mill." The completion of the oil mill brings to three, the total number owned by the CDC at Mondoni, Idenau in the West Coast and  now, Illoani.

The GM paid glowing tribute to the CDC workers and engineers who worked day and night to build the mill from scratch. "And because of this project, I have discovered a very positive and encouraging aspect of the CDC worker, because everything you see here, was done by them. So I think that my greatest thanks go to them." The thanksgiving service was laced with songs and music from the Trumpet Band and with support at the piano by the GM himself.

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