27, July 2021
Initially led by the Italian Gruppo Piccini, the construction of the Paul Biya Stadium is now being handled by Magil construction.
The Canadian company Magil has been drawing on its own funds to carry out work on the Paul Biya Stadium, which is due to welcome the Africa Cup of Nations in January and February 2022. Now, it desperately wants to be paid.
The Biya criminal gang in Yaoundé recently pleaded for a suspension of interest payments on its sovereign debt with the right hand and with the left hand the regime called on the banks to loan it more money to enable it to complete construction of the Paul Biya Stadium.
All what the so-called CPDM barons claimed to have done with the money received for the Africa Cup of Nations project ranges from plain fiction to the absurd.
Correspondingly, Franck Mathière, the vice-president of the group building stadiums for the Biya Francophone Beti Ewondo regime returned to the country in April after obtaining a suspension of the Interpol Red Notice against him. The Frenchman was detained in Ukraine after Nigeria issued the warrant.
The appearance in Yaoundé on 15 April of the vice-president of Canadian group Magil Construction, Franck Mathière, alongside sports minister Narcisse Mouelle Kombi raised eyebrows both in Yaoundé and Abuja.
How could the Frenchman have returned when only a few weeks earlier, he was banned from leaving Ukraine due to an Interpol Red Notice issued against him? His case has set tongues wagging in Nigeria – which issued the international arrest warrant in 2018, accusing him of corruption – but in Cameroon, where Magil is leading the construction of the Olembe stadium he is seen as a messiah.
While his country is struggling to pay contractors who are laboring to build a football stadium in his honour, Mr Paul Biya returned to his Swiss Intercontinental Hotel last week and reportedly had a brain surgery in Geneva.
Herbert Schott, the former general manager of the Intercontinental Hotel wrote in his book L’Hôtelier published in 2007 that the 88-year-old President Biya’s loyalty to the 5-star Intercontinental hotel borders on obsession. Since his accession to the presidency until 2017, the estimated cost of his stays amounted to $ 65 million (FCFA 36 116 697 500).
To be sure, the man who has engineered the worst corruption machinery in Cameroon’s history spends $ 40 000 (FCFA 22 168 161) per night for the entire Biya delegation.
By Rita Akana with files from Africa Intelligence