Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Extractive And Banking Sectors Float 

By Ernest Ndukong

Tunisia is the northernmost country in Africa and is still recovering from an uprising that started in December 2010.The uprising led to the resignation of former leader, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on January 14, 2011, and a consequent 35 years prison term for embezzlement and crimes against humanity. This unpleasant situation in this Maghreb nation has not hindered them from planning to set up an industrial wood processing centre in Binguela in the outskirts of Yaounde.

The Director General of the Tunisian Technical Industrial Centre for Wood and Furniture, Labidi Barhoumi said, “a technical centre for wood industry will help small and medium-size industries to develop the production of wood manufactured in Cameroon.”

The centre will encourage research, avert the random felling of trees and add value to our timber. It is important to note that Cameroon has over 40 percent of its territory covered by timber but depends highly on imports for wood products.

Gold

Gold is a dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable metal, known even before recorded history. It is valuable and among the most expensive commodities. Bétaré Oya in East Region happens to harbour this highly sought-after precious metal.

A special unit of the gendarmerie is there to ensure that gold production is economically oriented in strengthening the country’s gold reserves at the central bank. The role of the military will be to halt the flow of gold from small scale miners to clandestine gold buyers and traffickers as well as ensuring transparency in the weighing and registration of quantities produced.

Banking

Banks, like all other service-providing institutions, are supposed to be customer-friendly, facilitators of investment projects and selling products that improve living standards. In a nutshell, banks ought to be indispensable to individuals, businesses and the Government. This apparently has not been the case with banking in Cameroon, when there were few banks until competitors flooded the market and, in a way, acquitted customers from some ‘prison banks’.

The liberalisation of the banking sector has led to violent competition such that shareholders of banks would reap only if they have sown on fertile soil. FCFA 2.1 billion loan from Societe Generale de Banques au Cameroon (SGBC) to the Yaounde City Council will finance the renovation of the Congress Hall and give it a befitting facelift.

Tsimi Evouna, who signed for his council, cites the construction of a fence, the development of a plan for easy access as well as multiple platforms, the opening of access roads and other car parks and putting security at its peak.

In the same light, eight banks will jointly lend FCFA 75 billion to the National Oil Refinery Company (SONARA). The fund would be used to expand pumps that would not only refine light crude but heavy crude as well and increase capacity by almost 100 percent to four million metric tons by 2015.

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