Limbe(National Times)-Franklin Ngoni Njie, General Manager of the Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) second largest employer after the Government has disclosed that over 12,500 workers of the entity have been forced out of their jobs owing to rising insecurity linked to the Anglophone crisis.
The CDC GM made the revelation as he presented the corporation’s situation to the media in Limbe Friday January 18. Speaking at the meeting, the GM said the major problem facing the corporation remains that of insecurity.
According to Njie, since 216 when the Anglophone crisis sparked off, over 12500 workers have been forced to abandon the plantations and stay at home due to rising insecurity. The CDC boss told journalists that, workers are ready to go back to the farms but the major problem remains that of insecurity.
“Our greatest problem today remains that of insecurity. Without security, we cannot restart work. Our biggest cry is that why a battle whose product is a political problem should be fought on the corporation’s plantations. This is the biggest frustration of the CDC.
We need security, No worker can successfully stand to tap a rubber tree if he or she is not sure that, there is no one standing behind with a machete or a gun. We need it and we need it now” The CDC boss lamented.
Aside those, over 7000 staff of the corporation with mostly supervisory and administrative roles are caught in the snare of insecurity and cannot do any effective work.
The GM lamented that, despite adopting a budget of over FCFA 98 billion with hopes of resuming work on January 2, 2019, some workers of the corporation were rather attacked right in their homes in Tiko.
Ngoni affirmed that, most of the company’s operations in the conflict-hit areas are no longer under the control of the CDC. He disclosed that, farms in Ndian, Tiko, Meme Division, Buea Sub Division and other areas are under the control of separatists fighters.
“The oil palms in the Boa in Illoani, Ndian Division are no longer under the control of the CDC. Even the offices and estate houses are now occupied by men CDC is not aware of. The Illoani Oil mil is shutdown but under the protection of the military”. The CDC boss stated.
Out of a total of seven palm oil estates, only 2 are functional viz Bota and Debunscha at about 50 and 75 percent rates respectively. Out of 11 rubber estates only four are functional. These four are known to be located in the Littoral Regions of the country.
The GM recounted series of attempts to secure estates in Meanja –Muyuka and other estates in Meme that resulted in attacks on soldiers. The GM disclosed that in April 2018, attacks in some estates resulted in the death of some soldiers on guard. This, the GM said forced workers to flee.
In all these frailties facing the corporation, the CDC boss asserted that, billions are needed to revamp activities. Besides, the General Manager said, without an end to the current security challenges, it would be difficult to revamp activities even if money is made available.