Biya renews trust in Moh Sylvester.

The Head of State, President Paul Biya, has finally delivered on his promise to create a Deposits and Consignment Fund. The appointment of Moh Sylvester as the pioneer board chairperson of the Fund, observers are now saying, speaks volumes of the level of trust Biya has for him.

Moh Sylvester Tangongho, Director General of Treasury, Financial and Monetary Corporation, was designated as the Chairman of the Board of Directors through a fiat of President Paul Biya Friday.

 

The unique experience, weight of Moh Sylvester

Beyond this, the big name on the table, for those who understand national and international financial gymnastics, is the meticulous treasury boss, Moh Sylvester. 

Described as a merited recognition and a show of Biya renewing confidence in a discrete public servant, Moh Sylvester, key actors in the financial sector say, is a square peg in a square hole.

By choosing Moh as pioneer board chairperson, President Biya it is now being said, and rightly so, has opted for a heavyweight, workaholic and dynamic financial management guru like Moh to get the Fund running.

To note that the publicity shy treasury DG has, under the guidance of the current minister of finance, Louis Paul Motaze, stabilised the state purse in the most difficult circumstances.

Moh has to his high ratings, the regular payment of civil servants’ salaries; the servicing of debts; helping government to respect its engagement with national and internal partners amid others in a turbulent economic context.

The treasury boss walked Cameroon in financial tranquility when Boko Haram attacks threatened customs revenue and the economy of the Far North region. He has been doing so since the separatist movement brought activities to an all-time low in the North West and South West regions.

Moh Sylvester also has an attractive slate in balancing and tranquilising the management of State finances in the face of COVID-19 and now the Russia-Ukraine war that has left several economies around the world crippled. With the number of storms he has helped Cameroon weathered, many say, Biya has simply renewed confidence in an expert who has what it takes in tandem with the new DG and Assistant DG to help the Fund deliver on its missions.

 

Road to setting up of Fund & its role

Cameroon was pushed to create this institution after a conference of officials of Deposit Funds from French-speaking African countries was held in Yaounde in November 2022.

According to the law of April 14, 2008 creating the Fund, government will henceforth assume full responsibility in managing and controlling the banking sector, serving as a cover of risks in Cameroon’s financial and banking sector.

The Deposits and Consignment Fund bears all risks when banks and other financial institutions collapse. Perhaps, in the light of avoiding what happened in the 1990s when many banks went bankrupt and unceremoniously closed doors without paying back money deposited in them by customers.

From now henceforth, therefore, a substantial part of government savings will be lodged with this fund. This too will hold sway for any excess liquidity held by commercial banks, other financial institutions and big corporate businesses.

Indeed, savings institutions in the country will henceforth put their money in the Deposits and Consignment Fund. Funds from the national savings scheme, the National Social Insurance Fund, CNPS, pensions funds, as well as insurance and other guarantee funds will also be saved in the institution.

As an example, officials stated that funds used to purchase landed property that were hitherto lodged in accounts that are opened in banks by notaries, will henceforth be saved with the deposit fund. Proceeds needed to pursue a court case, or caution paid by contractors who want to bid for public contracts will now henceforth be lodged at The Fund.

 

Role in financing development

As a state savings institution, the Fund will in the long-term be required to provide the money needed to carry out giant development projects in the country. This will be the case for major road construction works, building of hospitals among other national projects earmarked for execution by the government.

Experts say the Deposits and Consignments Fund is derived from the French public sector financial institution system that dates back to 1816. The Fund has remained part of French government institutions under the control of the Parliament.

Often described as the "investment arm" of the French State, it is defined in the French Monetary and Financial Code as a "public group serving the public interest" and a "long-term investor".

As set out within the French Monetary and Financial Code, the Caisse des dépôts et consignations carries out missions of public interest in support of the public policies implemented by the State and local government bodies.

Other functions in France are: supporting universities in their projects and providing funding for their autonomy; financing the development of TPE (very small businesses, microcredit) and Small and Medium Enterprises, SMEs through research and financing sustainable development. Developing territories alongside local authorities and acting as a long-term institutional investor.

 

Moh Sylvester, Cameroon’s celebrated public finance manager

Decree no. 2023/035 of January 20, 2023 appointing Moh Sylvester levels with the experience of a man that has worked hard in serving country.

The pioneer board chairperson of the Deposits and Consignment Fund rose from Senior Finance Inspector to become the Director ofTtreasury, Financial and Monetary Cooperation in the Ministry of Finance.

Moh is a graduate of the 1987-1989 batch of the National School of Administration and Magistracy, ENAM. At ENAM, he studied financial management and graduated as one of the best of his batch. Till date, Moh has been instrumental in laying the pillars that now define Cameroon’s modern financial system.

He is being credited with huge mobilisation of public funds since heading the treasury in 2011. Moh also holds a degree in economics. Today, like old wine that only tastes better, President Biya has continued to make use of his huge experience.

 

Enter new DG Richard Evina Obam

The pioneer director of the Deposits and Consignment Fund, Richard Evina Obam, is also a well-known personality as far as Cameroon’s public finance sector is concerned.

The Director General of the Autonomous Sinking Fund, has since 2011 when Morocco launched its Deposit and Consignment Fund, been representing Cameroon in all activities concerning that country’s institution.

He is also a graduate of ENAM and holds a degree in economics from one of France’s frontline academic institutions, ENA, where he graduated in 2003.

Evina has also worked as Technical Adviser to the Minister of Finance; Chief of the Department of Grand Enterprises at the Directorate General of Taxes; Administrator of the SCB Cameroun and at the national investment corporation, SNI. Evina is aged 55.

 

 

Snippet of new Deputy GM, Anne Genevieve Soppo Etame

The pioneer Assistant Director General of the newly created Deposits and Consignment Fund, Anne Genevieve Soppo Etame, is a specialist in systems banking.

She has occupied the posts of Director of Risks Management at Commercial Bank of Cameroon; Director of Permanent Supervision and Inspection; Director of Treasury in Charge of Special Matters at the same bank, including the capital market, International Operations, External Trade and Money transfer in different banks in Cameroon.

She holds a post graduate degree in economics with specialisation in business economics and finance from the University of Saint-Etienne in France.

Aged 57 and comfortably married, the pioneer Assistant Director General of the Deposits and Consignment Fund is a mother of four children.

 

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