Cameroon Tribune (Yaoundé)

3 December 2012

Cameroon: 2011 Corruption Report Shows That Embezzlement of Public Funds Continues

The National Anti-corruption Commission (NACC) on Thursday, November 29, 2012 published the over 300-page 2011 report on the situation of fighting corruption in Cameroon. The four-part document presents, as one of the key parts, sector strategies in fighting against corruption. Priority sectors here include mines, electronic governance, social sectors and public contracts.

The second part is devoted to control activities with focus on the follow-up of the execution of the public investment budget. This is done through investigation and control missions undertaken by NACC officials in sectors such as forest and wildlife, embezzlement of Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative funds in strengthening community management initiative, execution of the Kribi Deep Seaport Project and the Lom Pangar hydro-electricity dam project. Part three is devoted to prevention and represssion of corruption, while part four focused on cooperation in fighting corruption.

Startling Revelations

The report revealed unorthodox practices from the start of procedures of attributing contracts to the execution phase of the Lom Pangar Hydro-electricity dam project. It disclosed fraudulent payments amounting to FCFA 2,054,717,180. At the centre of cases of corruption and embezzlement of public funds are senior Cameroonian administrative officials in collaboration with other companies involved in the call for tenders.

The National Anti-corruption Commission officials uncovered malpractices in the payment of compensation to victims of the Kribi Deep Seaport project. Some 58 out of the 806 beneficiaries of the compensation each expect to be paid between FCFA 100 million and FCFA 2 billion. The report talks of a critical analysis of the conditions of obtaining land certificates in zone before the port project with a revelation that 65 per cent of the so-called land owners are fraudsters. Some 149 land owners have been compensated to the tune of FCFA 10,774,638,375. The report cites 11 categories of fake land owners who fought hard to benefit from the compensation. Over 44 land certificates were established after February 6, 2009, the date government declared the port area to be of public utility.

NACC in the report disclosed cases of money laundry involving some public and private banking institutions. It states that by December 31, 2010, there was FCFA 3,884,727,668 State tax revenue stocked in some 10 commercial banks. The institution has requested the Ministry of Finance to recover the money. There are also cases of fraudulent financial transactions with 40 files forwarded to the judicial department in the 2011 fiscal year. This concerns over FCFA 10,518,533,171. The corruption, fraud and embezzlement techniques, the report states, are complex.

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