By Walter Wilson Nana & *Assoue Assoue
The Southwest Development Agency, SOWEDA, is in need of more money. This, is one of the issues discussed at the 26th Session of the Board of Directors Meeting that took place recently at the SOWEDA Conference Room in Buea.
While expressing the gratitude of the Board Members to the government of Cameroon for funding SOWEDA so far, Noah Mbongo Molongo, Board Chair, said the always expanding activities of SOWEDA demands for more into the agency. “We request that further considerations should be given towards increasing the amounts of SOWEDA’s running cost and investment budgets,” he said.
According to the SOWEDA Board Chair an increase in their funding will permit them expand in the production and distribution of maize seeds, plantain suckers, cassava cuttings, improve on potable water, feeder roads and health care services in the Region.
Inspired by government’s ongoing crackdown on corruption and embezzlement of public money, the SOWEDA Board Members via their Chair, enjoined the General Manager to meticulously respect procedures and avoid being booked for acts of managerial shortcomings. “The SOWEDA Board members must ensure that decisions and resolutions arrived at, are in conformity with the regulations in force. We have the responsibility and obligation to accompany government in its endeavours,” Mbongo Molongo said.
The SOWEDA GM, Dr. Andrew Eneme Ngome said in the heart of their development activities, farmers and Common Initiative Groups, CIGs are at the fore this year, as they continue to receive planting materials, especially maize seeds. “We’ve also received FCFA 225 M from the Ministry of Finance to maintain equipments, though it will not be enough, but we’re grateful. We also look forward to introduce beans to our farmers, besides the regular plantain suckers and cassava cuttings,” the GM mentioned.
On the SOWEDA assets, Dr. Eneme said some vehicles, which are fourteen and more years old have been sold via the Southwest Regional Delegation of Land Tenure & State Property.
The SOWEDA GM said the expected RUMPI Phase II Project will be determined by the government of Cameroon and her partner, the ADB. “Remember, it is a loan. The project is not for nothing. If the government accepts to go in for a second phase, it means they’re accepting to go in for more loans. But before that happens, Rumpi, SOWEDA and other partners must come out with a written project to determine what they think that second phase will be composed of,” he explained.
Dr. Eneme mentioned that without the support from the Ministries of Agriculture & Rural Dev’t, Public Works, Water & Energy, SOWEDA will not pursue its objectives; therefore, they look forward to their regular assistance – technical, material, human and financial resources.
* Journalism & Media Student On Internship, National Polytechnic, Bambui