Paul Biya throws Free Billions of CFA at Some Former and Current UB/UBa Students
Even in the current economic downturn in the Cameroons, characterized by heavy borrowing and begging from international financial institutions, the President of La Republique du Cameroun, H. E. Paul Biya has thrown free billions of Francs CFA at university students in the Cameroons in the name of an annual Presidential Excellence Grant. The annual Presidential grant in which State university students with at least a 10/20 cumulative average are given 50,000francs every November, has been sustain for more than five years now.
Speculations were high that the money was not going to be available this year, considering the shrinking economy of LRC and the heavy borrowing from the IMF and World Bank. The money was least expected in the Southern Cameroons universities of Bamenda and Buea, where the school year has been a failure, arising from the present revolutionary struggle.
However, last Friday, the Universities of Buea and Bamenda sent out radio announcements calling on students to come and collect their monies. At UB in particular, the list of beneficiaries is a photocopy of the list of beneficiaries for the 2015/2016 academic year. Many of the beneficiaries are graduates, who have either traveled abroad, are in ENS or may be working somewhere in the Cameroons. The payment process which started today Monday 22nd at the Campuses of the two Ambaland universities, has seen many graduates coming into the Campuses to claim the money.
As many current students raise dust about the absence of their names on the list of beneficiaries, no official reason has been given for using an old list especially at the university of Buea where payment was monitored by BaretaNews. There are however speculations that the University did not have a full updated list of beneficiaries for the last academic year, considering the schools boycott in Southern Cameroons/Ambazonia. The university authorities therefore could not afford to leave the money unclaimed from the government treasury.
In a system where infrastructures in public universities are continuously deteriorating and lecturers complaining of accumulated unpaid allowances; in a system where authorities are barely trying to pick up pieces of an already dying economy, we highly suspect such huge amounts disbursed to students at this time and only hope that the money has no strings attach to it.
Agbor James, BaretaNews Political Analyst