President Buhari Calls For Co-Operation Among African Nations
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more neighborliness and mutual understanding between African states in order to enhance trade, security and promote development of the continent.
The President, represented by the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada, at the inauguration ceremony of the Nigeria/Cameroon Joint Border Post and Bridge at Mfum Cross River State, said the 1.5km project would enhance the interconnectivity of “our people and communities, improve living standards, reduce barriers to inter-regional trade and strengthen border security.’’
“It is with great sense of satisfaction that we are witnessing the official Joint inauguration of the Mfum/Ekok 1.5km Bridge and Joint Border Post (JBP).
“Let me begin with commending the Leaderships of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), and the Government of the Republic of Cameroon that worked closely to realize this project, as well as the African Development Bank (ADB) that provided funding for the execution and completion of this 1.5km Joint Border Project,’’ he said.
President Buhari noted that the project would deepen the inextricably linked cultural and traditional fraternal bonds that already exist between Nigerians and Cameroonians living around the border communities.
“Let me also underscore that in order to maximise the benefits of these projects, the Nigerian and Cameroonian officials that would be saddled with the responsibility of manning the Joint Border Post, in particular, must act in the most professional manner, as well as in line with the global best practices, effective from today,’’ he stated.
President Buhari affirmed that the completion of the project had made both Nigerians and Cameroonians living around the area jubilant.
“Such excitement symbolises the resolve of our People and Governments to remain connected in spite of our seemingly artificial boundaries.
“The completion and commissioning of this project could not have come at a more auspicious time than when Nigeria has signed and ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement.
Therefore, we expect that the commissioning of this Joint Border Bridge and Post will not only strengthen the existing cordial relations between Nigeria and Cameroon, but also enhance cooperation between the ECOWAS and the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS).
“Under the AfCFTA, this project has the potential to enhancing the volume of economic activities in our regions, and facilitate the free movement of persons, goods and services within the countries, along the corridor.
It would also serve as a vital link between the West and the Central African regions.
”The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria also expects that this Joint Border Post and Bridge will enhance security patrol and facilitate effective cooperation in this part of our border with the Republic of Cameroon. While expressing our confidence that this project would accomplish the set targets, it is also our hope that it would complement the current efforts of the Governments of Nigeria and Cameroon to combat the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism in our region.
“This is important because the activities of violent extremists have continued to present major challenges to the development of our countries and regions,’’ he said.
The President said the menace of insecurity had continued to threaten economies, impede the maximisation of the strategic potentials of our countries and cause political upheavals and menace in the sub-regions.
“Hence, it is our hope that the commissioning of this project will accelerate the efforts of our gallant security personnel who are already doing very well in securing our territories.
“We also pray that this project would enhance the interconnectivity of our people and communities, improve living standards, reduce barriers to inter-regional trade and strengthen border security. We are certain that these projects will deepen the inextricably linked cultural and traditional fraternal bonds that already exist between Nigerians and Cameroonians living around the border communities,’’ the President stated.
He noted that the project, which was part of the on-going Nigeria/Cameroon Multinational Highway and Transport Facilitation Programme (NCMH&TFP), would remain a visible testament to the continuing cooperation and good neighbourliness between both countries, and Regional Economic Communities.
“This bridge, and Joint Border Post, are proofs that when African countries work with African Institutions, outstanding and people-centred cross-regional developmental projects can be achieved in record time,’’ he said.
The President thanked all the Institutions and Agencies that made the project possible.
“I recall in this regard, that the Government of the Republic of Cameroon cooperated with us in granting joint waiver to the Expatriates that were employed by the construction company that handled the project, despite the global COVID-19 lockdown. The cooperation and support of H.E. President Paul Biya, as well as the Government and people of Cameroon, ensured that this project was completed on schedule.
“Let me also extend the gratitude of the Government and people of Nigeria to the African Development Bank for the role it played in financing these projects. Under the leadership of Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, the Bank has become, by all standards, a reliable beacon of support in all matters relating to Africa’s development. Indeed, we are very proud of the performance of the current Management of our continental Bank which has confirmed that we truly have African solutions to African problems ».
“Let me also commend the leadership and staff of the ECOWAS and ECCAS for their untiring efforts in ensuring the timely completion of this project. It is necessary to underscore that visible projects such as these, as well as other critical and life changing infrastructure are the type of projects that the citizens of our sub-region have been yearning to see. It is the hope that under the leadership of Dr. Omar Alieu Touray, ECOWAS will continue to deliver on the expectations of our citizens.
“Finally, let me conclude by extending our deepest appreciation to the contractors, CGCOC, that have shown uncommon commitment to the execution and delivery of this high quality project, within a reasonable period. To all of you who have contributed in one way or the other to this epoch–making and memorable occasion, I convey my warm appreciation,’’ President Buhari said.
The Minster of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the value of the new bridge transcended connection between Nigeria and Cameroon, boosting the larger effort of connecting Africa.
He said efforts would be sustained to improve networking among Africans, which ECOWAS and the African Union had been pursuing over many years, with earlier plans dating back to 1969.
Fashola said consistency in building roads and bridges would improve relations among Africa countries, where people can drive from Lagos to Mombasa.
The Cameroonian Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi, who represented President Paul Biya, appreciated the contributions of various stakeholders to the project, assuring that the Nigeria/Cameroon relations will explore more possibilities for partnership.
UBA GROUP MANAGING DIRECTOR VISITS CAMEROON
The Group Managing Director of United Bank for Africa (UBA), Oliver Alawuba, visited Cameroon for two days from November 3 to 4, 2022. He met on November 4 with the Minister of State, Secretary General of the Presidency of the Republic, Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh.
The day before, he had the honour to be received at the Star Building by the Prime Minister, Head of Government, Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute. After assuming office on August 1 at the helm of the pan-African banking group, the new CEO is on a tour of African countries where the bank has subsidiaries.
The Prime Minister’s guest expressed satisfaction with the efforts made by the President of the Republic, Paul Biya and the Cameroonian government to create an environment conducive to the smooth development of UBA’s activities for the past 15 years.
The bank is currently expanding its network to cover all the 10 regions of the country, in order to provide the population with innovative banking products and services.
Oliver Alawuba stressed that UBA Plc was a reliable partner of the Cameroonian State and remained ready to support the government, its branches, decentralized local authorities, and other private sector actors. The ambition is to increase the Group’s contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, within the framework of a public-private partnership encouraged by President Paul Biya.
Oliver Alawuba also took the opportunity of this trip to pay a courtesy call to some of the bank’s clients, regulators and partners to thank them for their constant support. He also toured some UBA branches in Yaounde and Douala to assess the activities on the ground. He encouraged the top management and staff to consolidate its leadership in the area of customer care and treatment.
During his visit to Cameroon, the UBA Group CEO had along his side Amie Ndiaye Sow, UBA’s Regional Director for the CEMAC zone, Ebenezer Essoka, Chairman of the Board of Directors of UBA-Cameroon, and Jude Anele, Managing Director of UBA-Cameroon.
The pan-African bank operates in 20 African countries, Britain, France, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.
UBA Cameroon launches free mobile money service!
The new product, M2U Money, offers innovative, secured, fast, user-friendly electronic-wallet financial service
solution to users, with or without bank accounts, through online platform based on web & mobile technologies
Leading Pan-African financial institution, United Bank for
Africa, UBA Cameroon, now offers free Mobile Money services,
aimed at facilitating electronic transactions for its ever-growing clientele in the country. The new product dubbed M2U Money, was officially launched in Yaounde yesterday. M2U Money, it should be said, is a Mobile Money transfer and e-wallet
solution offering secure, fast financial services through a user-friendly and easy-to-use online platform based both on web and mobile technologies. Speaking at the ceremony, the Managing Director/CEO of UBA Cameroon, Jude Anele, said M2U Money comes in as fulfilment of their pledge to champion retail banking services in Cameroon. M2U Money, Anele added, is launched as an efficient and cost-effective solution to provide retail banking to the population. “We took our time to come up with a
solution that will help penetrate both the urban and rural areas and facilitate payment both in Cameroon and across the CEMAC region,” Anele said. M2U Money to solve financial inclusion
challenges On her part, the Deputy Managing Director of UBA Cameroon, Marguerite Fonkwen, while expressing gratitude to all and sundry for taking time off their busy schedule to witness the launch, said M2U Money would help resolve the problem of financial inclusion which still remains a preoccupation to government.
Fonkwen reiterated that M2U Money is a secured, rapid and innovative money transfer solution that uses mobile transactions and electronic wallet which permits
users to do all types of transactions. She used the opportunity to thank all UBA Cameroon partners for supporting the financial institution to realise the product. Fonkwen appreciated government’s multifaceted support to and pledged that the bank remains ready and always available to serve. She also thanked the banking regulator, the Central Bank, for permitting them and authorising the launching of the product. The Deputy Managing Director said the bank still plans not only to open many more branches in the country but to continue providing customer-friendly
and innovative services and digital financial solutions to its increasing customers. UBA Cameroon, Fonkwen told her hearers, has been in Cameroon for 15 years with over 20 branches created, over 500 youths employed with over 850, 000 customers from all walks of
life and age brackets. UBA Cameroon Board encourages team
The representative of the President of the UBA Cameroon Board of Directors, for his part, hailed the team for coming up with the solution to money transfer and urged them not to relent in offering
the best banking services to Cameroonians. He said they are confident M2U Money will be a huge success, thanks to
the crack team that is in place to market it to Cameroonians.
Country Head explains how M2U Money works The Country Head of M2U Money, Willy Ngangue, said the UBA-powered
product, created in partnership with OSSIX Technologies, is an innovative solution that would take their services to the doorsteps of Cameroonians; especially as Mobile Money services have fast become part and parcel of the daily lives of citizens. This, he added, is because electronic wallets and mobile bank accounts which allow for phone-controlled payments
and transactions are increasingly being used more than traditional bank
accounts. Ngangue said M2U Money brings in a wealth of practical innovative solutions, through cutting-edge services to the
Cameroon population with deposits, transfers, withdrawals and payments done free of charge but for the 0.2% government tax on electronic money transactions.
The UBA official added that M2U Money equally provides an e-commerce
environment, where merchants and purchasers of goods and services meet convivially, in a totally secured without space and easily carry out their online purchases from their providers of goods
and services. He said with the M2U Money service, users can send and receive money directly into their bank accounts, irrespective of the bank where the account is domiciled in Cameroon and other
electronic money transfer services.Ngangue furthered that M2U Money allows users with or without a bank account, living in rural or urban areas,salaried or not, young or old, natural orlegal entity, to perform all financial transactions.How to creating
M2U Money account Ngangue explained that after downloading
the application, users can follow the procedures and create an account with their ID card, passport and phone number. The user, he added, has to create a 6 digit confidential PIN code to secure his account. He said M2U Money also allows users to link their UBA accounts and do wallet to wallet money transfer, credit their wallet from PayPal and prepaid card, deposit and withdraw funds, pay for goods and services etc. Ngangue said money can also be sent
and withdrawn by a third party in a cash point without a card from an ATM and
M2U also has a platform respond to
complaints from customers.
Transactions between M2U Money and
bank accounts are free and with possibility
to send money using other mobile
Youth leader hails initiative
Speaking at the ceremony, the
President of Cameroon’s Emerging and
Republican Youth, Cathy Meba, lauded
UBA Cameroon creating M2U Money
which she said comes as solution to
fight high cost of living and improve living
standards. She said the M2U Money
will help support those in informal sector,
the economy and create jobs and
fight unemployment among youths.
“For my part, UBA is a republican
company. Its activities are in line with
the will and objectives of the Head of
State, H.E Paul Biya, for an emerging
Cameroon,” Meba said, while urging
youth to massively subscribe to M2U
Money which tends to get Africa out of
the yoke of neo-colonialism.
The ceremony was attended by representatives
of various government structures
charged with banking sector
CBC ORGANISE 3RD EDITION OF CAMEROON BUSINESS FORUM
The Commercial Bank of Cameroon brought together economic actors the public and private sectors customers and non-customers alike, start-ups and others, to concert at their third edition of Cameroon Business Forum that held (at the Krystal Palace Hotel) in Douala on Thursday November 3 with the theme “financing agro-industry…” and other subjects and how it can be made the flagship project of reducing dependence on imported goods and then made to chart a resilient economic growth for the future of this country.
Following their motto of “Lets build the future”, the bank expressed their appreciation for the impressive turn-out of the participants and that the forum was, in a wider sense, a place to exchange views, learn from each other and equally create partnerships and find solutions to the common goals of overcoming the challenges faced brought about by the HIV-AIDS, COVID-19 pandemics, and the inflation in the market place brought about by the Russian-Ukraine invasion, and to reduce poverty.
There were a whole series of challenges and suggestions that were discussed, some of which were the question of the acquisition of land to invest in second-generation agriculture which was a daunting task to overcome, the one-man show in the DNA of Cameroonians instead of forming cooperatives which has been a success-story in other parts of the world and equally on the continent, the scarcity of financing and guarantees on investments, bureaucracy, governance and the lack of adequate state participation in its role as facilitator, infrastructural problems, lack of transparency and a host of others. Participants would want to meet with representatives of the related ministries in the fourth edition for these reasons.
The mounting inflation and because no one knows how long it will it take, the continued rise in interest rates making financing more expensive to the investor and more, made participants tilt towards the idea of substituting imported inputs for local products or import substitution, among others. Niko Milianitis of the European Investment Bank (EIB) of the EU said those to assist the import substitution projects are the state multilateral organisations such as the IFAD, FAO, AIDB, EIB, multilateral banks, private foundations, regional banks etc.. Such projects must have sufficient promoter capital, technical expertise, sound managerial capacity, well-developed business plan,
feasibility studies, co-financing, renewable energy, gender and research and development etc.
Import substitution is not only to reduce dependence on imported goods but also to export goods produced to other countries to gain foreign currency reserves so it is expected to create jobs and reduce poverty.
In the closing remarks the General Manager Leandre Djummo said “we must continue to seek solutions to or problems. We also have problems to overcome equally with the Ministry of Finance but we will always continue to seek solutions. And the objectives of this forum have been met.”To a senior Consultant Gabriel Eugene Damfeu on the challenges of import substitution, he said as we embrace import substitution we have to look for a corresponding market to export the products. “We are all aware that it is the international market that has the biggest market and we are in the CEMAC Zone, so we have to have the capacity to export, we also have Nigeria as our natural market so producers have to design the plan and the goods to conquer the domestic market. The big return is to invest adequately to have an export capacity. The other problem is to have large production site.. This land problems are usually solved by the state through creations of zones, to have economies of scale or to invest large quantities to reduce cost and meet the challenges of exporting.”
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