We are talking about billions of FCFA engulfed each year in the functioning of the State. We talk again about the sumptuous lifestyle of the State. In short, we talk about the quality of public spending. The topic was at the heart of the statement delivered by the Minister of Finance at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday, January 26, 2017. Alamine Ousmane Mey addressed the Prime Minister and all members of the government. The Minister of Finance was mainly addressing those who are the main authorizing officers of the state budget. He reminded them of the following requirements: discipline, responsibility and quality of expenditure.
It is not new to shoot the alarm bell. In recent years, the President of the Republic in person has come back on the subject several times. “I would like to draw your attention once again to the need to rationalize expenditure and improve its quality in an international context marked by the scarcity of financial resources,” Paul Biya hinted at the government in its special communication at the Council of Ministers meeting on 9 December 2014.
The Head of State made this sad statement: “Unfortunately, it has been observed that the quality of public spending has continued to deteriorate, notably with an accumulation of expenditures whose necessity is not obvious . “
Paul Biya even gave a few illustrations of the problem: unrestrained growth in spending on goods and services, excessive growth of missions, particularly abroad, a proliferation of committees and inappropriate projects or an abusive increase in subsidies. A few days later, the president returned to this concern in his speech to the nation on 31 December.
Years have passed. And now this January 26, 2017, Finance Minister drew the attention of his colleagues on the number, frequency and volume of foreign missions, or on expenses related to fuel, water, electricity and telephone. The problem is rested today in almost identical terms.
This time, however, we must take the problem very seriously, to suggest Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey. The situation is serious in view of the economic crisis in the countries of the Economic Community of Central African States (CEMAC). And Cameroon is not spared, even if it shows the best resilience in the subregion.
Nevertheless, on January 26, 2017, the Minister of Finance recalled that the quality of public spending is one of the solutions to emerge from the crisis. This was clearly stated at the Extraordinary Summit in Yaounde on December 23rd, by the Heads of State of Cemac.
The Cabinet Council of January 26 has therefore decided that Cameroon must put in place “an adequate budgetary policy, notably by the significant reduction of the life of the State and the rationalization of the expenses of transfer. But we will have to go further than just budgetary regulation. The Council also prescribes: “scrupulous compliance with quarterly commitment quotas, the ceiling for transfers of appropriations and the rationalization of current consumption expenditure. “