By Fai Cassian
|Biyiti Bi Essam in Ako|
Minister Jean Pierre Biyiti-bi Essam has inaugurated five multi-media telecentres in the North West Region as part a precious gift of President Paul Biya to foster Vision 2035, yet the would-be telecenter for Nkambe was not inaugurated. Before performing the symbolic ritual of the cutting of the ribbon, Post and Telecommunication Minister Jean Pierre Biyiti bi Essam said the centres meet standards and were conceived to serve the people without discrimination. From Jakiri to Oku, through Ako, Misaje down to Ewoh in Batibo, post and telecommunication minister stressed that the centers are indispensible tools for human existence and assets of human development especially as with the click of a mouse one can make a tour of the world.
It is a poverty-alleviation project that checks rural exodus, creates indirect jobs, opens chances for competition in business ventures and enhances the government’s resolve to decentralize, he observed.
Each centre carries infrastructure, computers, information equipment and furniture worth about FCFA 70 million. They are open to the general public and cover compartments with opportunities for postal services, ICTs, telecommunications, training, financial services, telephone, internet, e-mail, typing, digitalised photo printing and video editing studios. In Misaje for example, the centers also habours a community radio which will go a long way to disseminate viable information to the population.
The mayor of Misaje Council Nkenda Simon Sunde expressed gratitude to President Biya and “his hardworking Prime Minister for making Misaje part of the global village”. He applauded that the construction of the telecenter has narrowed the gap between his municipality and the outside world. But outlined that the energy strength will be insufficient to serve the radio and the telecenter.
On the other hand, NUDP national Youth President decried that the project was hijacked for political aggrandizement which he described as pathetic. He however recalled that it was thanks to Bello Bouba Maigari that Misaje benefited from the project when he visited Misaje when he was minister of post and telecommunication.
Public opinion is questioning why Minister Biyiti Bi Essam could as well inaugurate the Nkambe telecenter. A school of thought holds that it is because the building constructed do not meet up with the standards. Besides, it is even alleged that funds allocated were siphoned by unknown individuals given that the structure in its entirety looks like a boy’s quarter. A classified source hinted that Minister Biyiti Bi Essam is aware and that elements of the Supreme State audit have been alerted on the controversy surrounding the Nkambe telecenter.
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