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PM Troubleshoots Conflict Between Transport Minister, Camair-Co Board Chair 

By Joe Dinga Pefok

Prime Minister Philemon Yang

Prime Minister Philemon Yang

A bitter conflict has erupted between the Minister of Transport and the new Board Chair of the Cameroon Airline Corporation, Camair-Co barely a month after their installation.

The conflict has raised the question as to who is the boss in Camair- Co; Minister Mebe Ngo’o, or the Board Chairperson, Mefiro Oumarou?

Both Mebe Ngo’o and Mefiro Oumarou allegedly lobbied to be appointed to the post of Board Chair of Camair-Co. Mefiro was finally appointed.

Mefiro’s appointment was however, surrounded by a number of controversies.

Beside the issue of accumulation of functions by a member of Government, there was also the controversy in appointing as Board Chairman, somebody who is the Minister Delegate at the Ministry of Transport.

Observers immediately saw the complication in the Minister of Transport dealing with Camair-Co, when the Minister Delegate is Board Chair.

Disagreement Over Meeting Venue

The Post learnt that the immediate cause of the conflict between the Minister and the Board Chair was not something that initially involved the Minister.

It started with a disagreement between Mefiro and Camair-Co new GM, Ernest Dikoum, over the venue of the first Board meeting.

The Board Chair wanted the meeting to hold in Douala, while the GM wanted Yaounde, like other Board meetings.

Dikoum is said to have told Mefiro that the coffers of Camair-Co were empty, therefore, there was a problem organising the Board meeting.

According to Camair-Co files, it is cheaper to organise the meeting in Yaounde than in Douala.

A Board meeting in Yaounde takes FCFA 8 million, a bulk of which goes for the payment of sitting allowances to members, but a Board meeting in Douala takes over FCFA 10 million; reason being that most of the Board members are based in Yaounde, hence lodging is not paid during Board meetings.

Besides, in Yaounde, the meeting holds in a hall at the Camair-Co Agency, but in Douala, a hall has to be hired, because the rehabilitation work that started over two years ago at Camair-Co headquarters in Bonanjo is still ongoing.

GM Reports Board Chair

Despite the explanations by the GM that the Board meeting should hold in Yaounde, Mefiro stood his ground that the meeting should hold in Douala.

The GM then complained to the Minister of Transport. Minister Mebe Ngo’o raised the issue with the Board Chair, who did not take it kindly that Dikoum had reported him to the Minister.

Mefiro reportedly stood his ground that, as Board Chair, he was the one to decide on the venue of the Board meeting.

The Minister was also irked by the fact that Mefiro accepted an invitation and took part in a programme over CRTV, where he talked elaborately about CAMAIR-Co, without having consulted him.

Mebe Ngo’o decided to file a complaint against Mefiro to the Prime Minister.

Tension Packed Meeting

The Post learnt that Prime Minister Yang, upon receiving the complaint, invited Mebe Ngo’o and Mefiro for a meeting in his office. But the meeting was reportedly characterised by accusations and counter-accusations between Mebe Ngo’o and Mefiro.

They both digressed from the issue of the venue for the Board meeting to certain irregularities or scandals in the Ministry of Transport.

The Minister Delegate was quoted as saying that, despite some controversial decisions, including appointments made in the Ministry by Mebe Ngo’o, he had resolved to stay silent.

And that Mebe Ngo’o now wants to also come to CAMAIR-Co where the Head of State appointed him Board Chair, to call the shots.

The most scandalous issue that Mebe Ngo’o is being highly criticised for at the Ministry of Transport where he has been Minister for barely 11 months, has been the appointment of his brother-in-law to the powerful post of Director of General Administration.

Why the controversial appointed was quickly noticed is because, when Mebe Ngo’o was Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Defence, he appointed the same in-law to a juicy post in the Defence Ministry, where he was allegedly in charge of the award of contracts.

PM Delivers Judgment

The Post learnt that at the meeting with the two, PM Yang based his ‘ruling’ on what the text states.

The PM asserted that, according to the text, it is the Board Chair of Camair-Co, and not the Minister of Transport, who has the power to decide where a Board meeting should hold. Mefiro, thus ‘won’ the case and maintained his position that the Board meeting holds in Douala on September 9.

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