Cameroon: National Assembly - CONAC Edifies On Path Covered

This was during a special plenary session chaired by Senior Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hilarion Etong on April 8, 2021.

Efforts made by the National Anti-Corruption Commission, best known by its French acronym CONAC, in the fight against the mismanagement of public funds since the creation of the institution have been presented to Members of the National Assembly. The Commission's Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Dieudonné Massi Gams highlighted the strides registered thus far on April 8, 2021 during a special plenary chaired by the Senior Deputy Speaker, Hon. Hilarion Etong.

In his presentation, Rev. Dr Massi Gams indicated that operational tools elaborated by CONAC in partnership with other stakeholders in the fight against corruption in Cameroon include the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), the National Integrity Education Programme (NIEP), and the Charter of the National Coalition Against Corruption (CNCAC). He noted that the Commission has been able to cumulatively recover FCFA 1,652 billion, 582 million, 958 thousand and 279 from 2011 to 2017. On what is done with the funds, he said the money is deposited into the public treasury either at the divisional or regional level and the receipt presented to CONAC. The fight against corruption in Cameroon, the Commission's Chair noted, is real dynamic and collective as more and more Cameroonians themselves call through the toll-free number 1517 to denounce acts of corruption. "The number of calls received have increased from 482 in 2010 to 23,048 at present day," he stated.

At the educational and institutional levels, he noted that collaboration with schools has led to the creation of anti-corruption clubs in some establishments and CONAC works in synergy with other administrative units of government like the National Gendarmerie, Police, Customs, and ELECAM amongst others. Besides administrative and financial audits, controls and investigations, Rev. Dr. Massi Gams said other tools used to get to the population in order to render the fight against the cankerworm include the Rapid Results Initiative, sectoral campaigns, use of media, publication of documents and the Corruption-free Competitive Entrance Examination (COSCO) initiative to ensure justice, transparency and equity in public examinations. Annual reports presenting the state of the fight against corruption within a particular years comprising actions, results and prospects is compiled and rendered public after submission to competent authorities for further action.

Hon. Hilarion Etong in his opening speech said democracy is also the preservation of public funds. Corruption, he said, impacts the political, economic and social life of the society as it has negative effects on the reputation of our country and on public morals.

Recommendations were presented at the end of the plenary session on how to better improve the fight against corruption. Some of them include; the introduction of corruption studies within the educational curricula from the primary level, reinforcing available disposition, the decentralisation at regional levels the offices of NACC and the implementation of Article 66 of the Constitution.

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