The Cameroons people have been very furious regarding the planned distribution of laptops to University students. The Cameroons people were also shocked as hundreds of students in the capital city of Yaoundé and Bamenda on Wednesday 3rd August 2016 march on the streets in support of the move undertaken by the President. Investigations have revealed that this move is an economic scam embarked by the Government of Paul Biya against the Cameroons people.
The University of Bamenda most especially lacks lecture halls and other amenities. Just last month, the University organised a community fundraising to gather funds to develop the University. What stops the government from using a chunk of this 70 Billion to invest and develop the University of Bamenda? The gangster regime is only interested in providing cheap Chinese laptops to students rather than investing in sustainable projects.
Tapang Ivo, one of the most social critics on Facebook revealed and wrote “Those laptops are ONLY for this year (2016) and only for university students enrolled in state institutions. Private universities are EXCLUDED. They will not be given next year or in the following years. So it is not a sustainable project, but a waste of state resources. It is dubious. It is politically motivated to favor the gangster regime. If the intentions are genuine, give them to the schools so that they can better manage, and benefit all batches of students including future prospective students..”
Therefore, BaretaNews notes that this is not a sustainable project. It is wasteful because it is a short term issue. An interesting move from the government should have been to provide modern desktops to all state Universities Libraries, expand the multimedia centres, provide desktops with internet so that students can use to do research and this could be used by other students in the next many years ahead, provide a wifi free campus so that students with laptops could also use. This is sustainability. This way the state saves some money and the country is not put through debts. Providing individual laptops is never sustainable. Also, as Louis Mbua, another Cameroonian in the UK added ” The distribution cost alone will be twice the cost of those computers. From China to Cameroon by sea or air and distribution in a 475,000 sq km, a land mass as huge as the entire California. That is madness, a logistical nightmare. The people have no electricity, water, school buildings, roads, hospitable. The people have to pay for this waste ”
Further to buttress the fact that this move is not only sustainable but shows an incident of economic fraud by the state to its people, the Intelligence Unit of People’s Action Party (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 (FCFA 29,350) to 79 dollars (FCFA 46,373) 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 (FCFA 38,448.5). Now, if the government is buying 500,000 mini laptop computers for a whopping FCFA 150,000 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- reported Akoson Raymond, PAP SG
The Guardian Post Newspaper, Cameroon’s English Daily in their Thursday 4th August Edition corroborated PAP when they captioned in their front page the scam the government is perpetuating on the Cameroons people. The Guardian Post caption reads ” Investigation reveals Biya’s 500.00 laptops overbilled!”. The paper went further to state that “according to information made available to a Cameroonian group by seven Chinese electronic companies, the best grade laptop in China costs an average of 38.000 FCFA and not 150.000 CFA as government has budgeted for ”
BaretaNews faulted the students for marching and making a political statement. It is understood that most of us in their place would gladly receive these laptops. The students have no choice in this case as often people love free things. They should receive their laptops since the failed government has already made the move, but should be careful not to sell their consciences for votes. We of BaretaNews faulted the government for scamming the Cameroons people and engaging in a project which is not sustainable. We hope this popular outcry from the public will force the government to hence engage in sustainable projects. A democratic country could have seen the parliament questioning such a move from the executive arm of the government. It is a pity that the Cameroons parliament is as dumb as the President himself.
God is still saying something.