President Paul Biya has once more proven himself as an unpredictable political dribbler. Contrary to various speculations that Biya might bring in more opposition parties into the country’s upper house, the President merely recycled his friends.
In his Thursday appointments, Marcel Niat Njifenji from the West Region and Chief Victor E. Mukete were all recalled. Political pundits say Niat is set to be maintained as senate president.
Niat was born on October 26, 1934, in Bangangté in the West Region of Cameroon. After completing his primary and secondary education in the country, he proceeded to France for higher education where he obtained a first degree in sciences and a post graduate diploma in engineering from the Higher School of Electricity in Paris.
Upon return to Cameroon, he was integrated into the Public Service on December 31, 1960, as an engineer, specialised in the construction of bridges. He was also placed in charge of state technical services.
In 1962, he was detached and sent to ENELCAM in his capacity as engineer and then appointed on January 1, 1965 as Chief of Service for Studies and Works at a newly created Electricity Development Corporation, EDC. Later on January 1, 1970, he was made Chief of Service for Studies and Equipment Programming and on January 1, 1973, he was promoted to the post of Deputy Director General of EDC.
He later scaled up and was appointed as Director General of Electricity Production and Distribution Company, SONEL. After five years in the cold, he was called back on September 2, 1989, to continue work as the Director General of SONEL.
Njifenji was then catapulted to the position of Minister of Plan and Regional Development on September 7, 1990. His stay in Government was however brief, as he was sacked in a shake-up of April 26, 1991. From there, he moved back to the General Department of SONEL.
Between April 9, 1991 and November 27, 1992, he cumulatively occupied the post of Vice Prime Minister in charge of Mines, Water and Energy and Director General of SONEL. In 2001, he left SONEL after the privatization of the state owned company
A member of the CPDM Central Committee, Marcel Niat Njifenji was one time Mayor of Bangangté and was later voted as a Member of Parliament for the Ndé between 1992 and 1997. He was only appointed a Senator by President Biya recently.