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SONARA GM, Workers Celebrate Labour Day In Splendour 

By Francis Tim Mbom
With the first phase of the Expansion and Modernisation of the National Oil Refining Company, SONARA’s Production Unit having been completed and the Company having taken a shut down for the new unit to be connected to the old one, the Labour Day was really an opportunity for the GM and his workers to celebrate such a milestone.

“I would like to express to all SONARA workers the joy and happiness which I feel in seeing them in their usual numbers, always enthusiastic, in spite of the constraints of the moment, relating to the Connection Shutdown, within the framework of the completion of the Extension and Modernisation of SONARA, which will step up the Company’s production capacity from 2.1 million tons to 3.5 per year at its maximum speed,” the GM, Ibrahim Talba Malla, said.
The celebration began with a march-past at the Manga Williams Avenue at Down Beach Limbe, as SONARA workers joined other workers in Fako Division to commemorate the day.

They later converged at the SONARA Club House at Cape Limboh, where speeches, wining, dining and dancing marked the rest of the celebration.

In his opening remarks, the GM said: “Permit me to tell you that your collective determination is a guarantee for the success of this transition, bearer of high hopes for SONARA and for Cameroon on this day of the celebration of the International Labour Day,” the GM added.

SONARA was opened in 1981. Thus, after some 30 years, the management decided to expand and modernise the production installations and give the refinery the ability to refine both light crude imported from neighbouring countries such as Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea and heavy crude mined from Cameroon. Thus the successful completion of the first phase of the project will give the company just that capacity it needed.

The current shut down is to connect the old facilities to the new ones.
Thus, both the GM and the workers were very hopeful that the connection phase should go on successfully.
The GM thanked his workers for their colourful match past which he said did not only show a sense of patriotism but the distinct display of the different tribal colorations in SONARA drew applause from the population. Talba Malla went on to congratulate the organization Committee for the ingenuity and the savoire faire they displayed in putting forth such a distinct show of style during the match past.

The celebration was also an opportunity for the President of two SONARA based Trade Unions, Lembe Francis, President of the Union of Free Syndicates of Cameroon, USLC, and Fako Oil Refinery Workers Syndicate, Mr Samuel Eyango, to thank their GM on behalf of the workers. They pledged their continuous support and readiness to carry SONARA to greater success. They also said they were going to work hard to ensure that the connection of the first phase of the new units to the old ones is a total success.

They used the occasion to put across some of the worries of the workers. For instance they called on SONARAto be able to provide assistance to their retired colleagues who happen to die as well as those that take ill.
The GM said their grievances will be taken care of progressively as the budgetary means permit. But, in all, he promised his administration will continue to improve on workers conditions and wellbeing. But, he especially, asked the workers to show proof of their professionalism, especially during this period of the shutdown to carry on the connection of the new and old machines within the shortest time possible so as to enable the refinery to continue its operations.
The celebrations was marked by the installation of the newly elected Staff Representatives of SONARA by the GM. The event was graced by the presence of the SDO of Fako, Emmanuel Engamba Ledoux and his wife.

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