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Jailed Parastatal Heads Robbed Cameroon Of FCFA 200 Billion 

By Yerima kini Nsom

Managers of State corporations, who are currently being detained for the embezzlement of public funds, have inflicted a loss of FCFA 200billion on the State of Cameroon.

This revelation is contained in a report the Supreme State Audit presented in Yaounde recently. The outfit presented the report during the second conference of the Federation of Audit Institutions in Africa that took place in Yaounde recently.

The conference was tailored to ameliorate governance and stem the tides of embezzlement and generalised corruption in State corporations in African countries.

For one thing, the meeting took place at a time that many former Managers of State Corporations in Cameroon were languishing in jail for fidgeting with public funds. About 10 General Managers of State corporations are languishing in jail for lining their private pockets from the public wallet. Ten others are still being prosecuted in the courts on the same charges. These are the people, according to the Supreme State Audit, that have left a big financial scar on the State.

The former General Managers of the defunct Cameroon Airlines, CAMAIR, Yves Michel Fotso; Cameroon Radio and Television, CRTV, Gervais MendoZe; the Cotton company, SODECOTTON, Iya Mohammed, among others, are in jail.
Meanwhile,Managers and personnel of State corporations are in the dock for milking the State dry by earning gargantuan salaries and allowances at the expense of the common good.

Going by the report of the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court, the least amount a General Manager of State a corporation takes home as a monthly salary is FCFA 2 million.

The report reveals that such managers each earn a monthly salary that ranges between FCFA 2 million and 15 million. The irony, according to the report, is that such managers are more interested in filling their pockets than delivering the expected goods. Among other allowances, the managers take home FCFA 500,000 each as mission allowances.

They benefit from 100 percent health insurance, three vehicles and two drivers paid by the corporation which he runs. Such managers equally bag unlimited telephone allowances and monthly fuel allowances that range between FCFA 250,000 and 500,000. They equally have something called transport allowances.

As far as the personnel are concerned, the least paid category of workers earn salaries that range between FCFA 250,000 and 500,000 depending on their functions.

In a correspondence to the Minister of Finance in 2008, the then President of the Audit Bench of the Supreme Court, Abrahim Tchuente of blessed memory, noted that most General Managers and Board Chairpersons of State Corporations were reaping undue financial benefits in stark violation of the rules in force.

The then Finance Minister, Essimi Menye, responded by proposing a bill that would provide stricter guidelines and tougher sanctions against such pecuniary misbehaviour. The bill is yet to come to fruition.

Experts hold that the management of most State corporations in Cameroon wallows in mediocrity. A World Bank report reveals that many General Managers of State enterprises in Cameroon are politicians who do not have what it takes to transparently manage the outfits.

Such Managers are indicted for using the enterprises to consolidate their political bases instead of working for the common good.

The report states that the recruitment of workers by such managers is done on tribal lines. It observes that non qualified workers are usually recruited and this leads to poor performance in the enterprises.