Another Shipyard GM Resigns

Chantiere Naval - Douala

Chantiere Naval – Douala

The crisis that has been rocking the Cameroon Shipyard and Industrial Engineering Ltd, CNIC, since the sacking of its pioneer General Manager, Zachaeus Mungwe Forjindam, on May 7, 2008, has taken another twist with the resignation of the second South Korean as General Manager of the state-owned company. 
The South Korean, Seoung Rok Yang, was installed General Manager on October 9, 2012. Like his predecessor and fellow countryman, Moon Kwi-Ho, Rok Yang has also quietly abandoned the post reportedly out of disgust over the crisis that has continued to rock CNIC.

Also, like what happened when Moon Kwi-Ho left, the Cameroon Government has been silent over the issue. It would be recalled that, when Moon Kwi-Ho left, the Board Chairman of CNIC, Louis Claude Nyassa, later claimed that it was the Board of Directors that relieved him of his duty. That claim did not sound convincing, considering that Moon Kwi-Ho was appointed by a Presidential Decree. As for Rok Yang’s departure, some sources close to the Deputy General Manager of CNIC, Antoine Bikolo Alo’o, with whom Rok Yang strongly disagreed on many issues, are claiming that the South Korean has ‘run away’, having allegedly admitted that he is incompetent.

Management Crisis 

It would be recalled that CNIC was created in 1988, and started off with a capital of FCFA 500 million, 32 workers, with Zachaeus Forjindam as General Manager. For many years, the company did not know management crisis or strike actions by workers. All that the company knew was steady progress, as it grew in leaps and bounds. By the end of 2007, Forjindam had spectacularly taken CNIC to hit a record turnover of FCFA 40 billion, with the number of workers having also increased to as high as 2400. He was then also determined to ensure that the multi-billion Limbe Shipyard Project which he initiated, would go operational before 2010.
But this progress was to have a negative effect against Forjindam, as many eyes were now enviously looking at his post. In January 2008, a former Board Member of CNIC, Antoine Bikolo Alo’o, was installed as the Deputy General Manager of CNIC. Barely a few months later, precisely on May 7, 2008, Bikolo and the Board Chairman of CNIC, Louis Claude Nyassa, allegedly staged a plot which led to the controversial sacking of Forjindam as General Manager, and his immediate arrest on charges that he and over half a dozen former close collaborators allegedly embezzled FCFA 970 million. Bikoro then took over as the Interim General Manager. 
However, CNIC started a steady decline. Bikoro, whose field of training is finance, was seen as the wrong man for the post of General Manager of a highly technical-oriented company like CNIC. CNIC soon plunged into a management crisis under Bikoro, and strike actions by disgruntled workers became the order of the day. The annual turnover of CNIC was on a rapid decline. Yet, Bikoro and Nyassa insisted that all was fine. 
Government Turn To Expatriates 
Meanwhile, the Cameroon Government later resolved to turn to expatriate managers. The Government ordered CNIC to sign a Management Performance Contract with a South Korean Company, Marine Technology and Information Co Ltd. This was done on My 10, 2010. In line with the terms of the contract, President Biya signed Decree No. 2010/259 of 30 August, 2010, appointing South Korea born, Moon Kwi-Ho, of Marine Technology and Information Co Ltd, as the General Manager-Delegate of CNIC. 
Unfortunately, however, Bikoro and Nyassa did not give Moon Kwi-Ho the free hand to work. Even a project to add a shipbuilding component to the Limbe Shipyard Project was strongly opposed. By March 2010, Moon Kwi-Ho had become so disgusted with the situation of things that he decided to quit CNIC. Once more, the Deputy General Manager, Antoine Bikoro Alo’o, assumed the function of Interim General Manager. 
Enter Rok Yang 
Another South Korean, Seoung Rok Yang, who then was at the end of a job contract in Nigeria, was contacted by the Cameroon Government to takeover the post of CNIC GM. But Rok Yang was apparently very reluctant to accept the offer. It was alleged that Rok Yang who probably had contacted his fellow countryman, Moon Kwi-Ho, for a discussion as to why he left, was reluctant to take over the post.
Nonetheless, Rok Yang took over as GM in October 2012. While commissioning him, Transport Minister, Prof Robert Nkili, said Rok Yang was highly competent for the job.
Some dependable sources at the CNIC disclosed to reporters during Rok Yang’s commissioning that the turnover of the company had dropped to FCFA 11 billion. However, the Board Chairman insisted that the company’s turnover would return to FCFA 40 billion.     
The Post learnt that because of the frequent disagreement between Rok Yang and the Bikoro-Nyassa group, the former did not have a free hand to manage CNIC. Instead, the management crisis degenerated further at CNIC, and strike actions by disgruntled workers continued. In fact within the last two months (October and November), over three workers’ strikes were registered at CNIC. In disgust with the situation of things, Rok Yang banged the door. 
Nkili’s Reports To Presidency 
In the meantime, the Minister of Transport, Prof Robert Nkili, in his capacity as the head of the technical ministry of CNIC, is said to have written to the Presidency about Rok Yang’s resignation. The resignation is said to have embarrassed the Government, which is now thinking of appointing a Cameroonian to head CNIC. The lobby by different camps to project their different candidates for possible appointment by the Head of State is already heating up with Bikoro being projected by some media organs allegedly close to him. 
Minister Nkili has reportedly told the Presidency that Bikolo appears to be the problem of CNIC. The information which has apparently leaked to Bikoro has triggered an onslaught of attacks on Nkili, by media organs allegedly close to Bikoro. 
By Joe Dinga Pefok
Cameroon Post