Yaounde (National Times)-Cameroon’s president Paul Biya has instructed his government to take expedient measures to limit the effect of the Friday May 31st night explosion at the country’s National Oil Refinery (SONARA) on the daily lives of citizens as the country battles revive the corporation in the future.
President Biya’s order is part of a statement which Communication Minister Rene Emmanuel Sadi issued on Saturday June 1 in reaction to the incident. Sadi writes that, Biya has asked for the government to take measures to ensure that, the incident does not have a negative bearing on Cameroonians.
In the same note, the president has asked for the government to continue with the extension and modernisation program of SONARA that was already on course without restrain despite the explosion.
Water and Energy Minister Gaston Eloudou Essomba was at the scene of the incident early Saturday. Sadi writes in the government statement that, the minister’s field visit came at the instruction of president Biya.
Revisiting the incident, the Minister stated that an explosion occurred around 9:55PM Friday in the production unit of SONARA. The note indicates that, the fire expanded to the distillation unit of the enterprise Said states that except for material damages, there was no loss of human life.
He maintained that, government issued instructions to local authorities immediately the incident happened and the flames were brought under control. The minister said the government believes the explosion was an accident but is waiting for proper investigations to know the circumstances and exact cause of the explosion.
The minister assured Cameroonians that, petroleum products will be made available in the market while the government engages measures to make the plan functional as soon as possible.
Same Saturday, the General Manager of SONARA Jean-Paul Simo Njounou issued a letter to all partners of the entity announcing a temporal shutdown of the company for an unspecified period of time following the explosion. He however promised the partners that actions are being taken to make sure the company regain steam in the shortest time possible.
Unofficial reports talk of FCFA billions needed to put the company back in fine form following the extent of damage suffered in the Friday night incident.