The People’s Action Party, one of the over 50 political parties in Cameroon has issued a press statement in reaction to the recent announcement that President Paul Biya, who has been ruling Cameroon for over 30 years, has ordered a consignment of 500,000 mini laptops for university students in Cameroon. The statement has been made public by Akoson Raymond, the Secretary general of the party.
The monetary equivalent of Biya’s 500,000 mini laptop computers could provide at least 6,000 jobs with a salary of 100,000 Frs per month for the next ten years!
The Minister of Higher Education, Jacques Fame Ndongo signed communiqué No. 16.000/MINESUP/CAB/nn on July 26, 2016 explaining Biya’s regime’s “Plan Special Jeunes”. China’s Sichuan Telecom Construction Engineering Co. Ltd has been contracted to supply 500,000 pieces of mini computers to university students. This will gulp down 75 Billion Francs of borrowed money from China’s EXIM Bank.
PAP, amongst other issues, pick the following:
- PAP notes that the government failed to inform the Cameroonian people of the interest rates of this loan that the country shall incur within this ten year period. We ask that such figures be made known immediately;
- Such venture is very bad investment and a complete waste of resources.
Much as computers are vital for research and other academic course work, PAP believe that, this does not beat urgent priority projects on Cameroon’s development totem pole such as fighting the scourge of unemployment, provision of potable drinking water to every household, mechanize agricultural practices, putting meaning to the words, ‘free primary education’ etc.
Let us randomly consider the issue of combating unemployment. 75 Billions Can do a lot! Go also, to our state budget line by line and cut back on fuel, so-called out-station allowances and other reckless spending such as entertainment.
Put all of these together and create factories across the country that would finish our raw materials … create a name for the country as a manufacturing hub in the region.
And by the way, in case this embarrassment of a regime didn’t know, 75 Billions could provide six thousand jobs to youths with a monthly salary of 100,000 Frs for the next ten years.
The bidding process to pick Sichuan Telecom Construction Engineering Co. Ltd is mired in mystery and constitutes a very bad deal for Cameroon.
At the press conference of Minister Jacques Fame Ndongo, he brandished a sample of the said computers. This shows that what the government intends to supply are only mini laptop computers.
The Intelligence Unit of PAP National Strategic Team contacted seven major laptop manufacturers in China’s leading manufacturing city of Shenzhen namely Shenzhen Yu Chuang Xing Ye Technology Co., Ltd; Shenzhen Yongjing Digital Limited Company; Shenzhen Sanwo Digital Technology Co., Ltd; Shenzhen Yyhong Technology Co., Limited; Shenzhen Sayirin Technology Co., Limited; Shenzhen Hisent Science & Technology Co., Ltd and Shenzhen BOCOOR Technology Com Ltd and requested for Pro forma Invoices (PI) for the highest grade quality of 500,000 mini laptop computers with each having a warranty of 2 years.
Lo and behold, the prices ranged from 52 dollars (29,350 Frs) to 79 dollars (46,373 Frs) per piece [Current exchange rate is [1 USD = 587 XAF].
A mean of the best prices these factories accept to provide is 65.5 dollars (38,448.5 Frs). Now, if government is buying 500,000 mini laptop computers for a whopping 150,000 Frs per piece, it is either a very bad deal or some ministers have added mouth-watery commissions – four times greater than the actual cost – a scenario capable of ‘under-developing’ the Cameroonian people.
- It is a bait president Biya is using to impress upon the youths as elections draw to a close.
Biya’s so-called “Special Plan for the Youths” is a mockery to the young people of Cameroon. PAP believes that it is the youths who ought to be the actual commanders of their destiny and not some octogenarian who is tired, unproductive and lazy!
The youths must remember that as per the research carried out by the School of Gerontology, Southern California University in 2011, cognitive ability depreciates with age.
That explains why, in 1981, the IMF reported Cameroon’s economic growth rate stood at some 12.25%. The minds presiding over the country at the time were young, vibrant and energetic.
Joseph Owona became director of the International Relations Institute of Cameroon (IRIC) in 1976, “when he was all of thirty-one years old” (Martin Mayer, The Diplomats, p. 162); Bello Bouba Maigari became Paul Biya’s Prime Minister in 1982 at 35; Dorothy Njeuma, who until a few years ago was still the Rector of the University of Yaounde (I) became Vice Minister of Education in 1975 when she was 32 years old; Nzo Ekangaki was 28 years old when he became Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1962, and 38 when he was elected Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU); Paul Bamela Engo, currently a judge at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea, was 33 years old when he became a Minister Counselor at the Cameroon Embassy in Bonn, Germany in 1964 and 38 when he was elevated to the rank of a Minister Plenipotentiary in 1969, Kamdem Niyim became Minister of Health in 1964 at the age of 23, etc., etc.
Fast forward to 2004 when our economic growth rate plummeted to 4.2%. Those governing: Tired, lazy, unproductive gerontocracy!
These old men cannot pretend to be designing a future for us they won’t live to see.
And as the PAP Chieftain, Ayah Paul Abine always puts it to the youths, “the red sea may not part in our days. We need a bridge to cross to the other side … that bridge is PAP”
PAP strongly advise the youths to guard against such game of hoodwink by the Biya regime at the wake of elections.
AKOSON A. Raymond PAP Secretary General
Communications & Public Relations, People’s Action Party, PAP National Working Secretariat, P.O Box 333 Buea, South West Region, Cameroon.
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