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Cameroon – Finance: Here is how the Cameroonian state wastes money

PB-grand
Written by Deckson N.

Cameroonian President Paul Biya has just announced new measures to avoid waste of the state’s financial resources. As directed by the president, the government should develop the next Finance bill to further streamline spending in the public service.

This is the second time in three years that the President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya, expresses his concern about excesses in public spending. This time, the Head of State attacked the waste of public financial resources. In a recent circular outlining the guidelines on the drafting of the 2018 Finance Law to be voted at the end of the year, President Biya asked his colleagues to take certain measures to stem the waste of budgetary resources. As one of his instructions, the president recommends, for example, the definition of consumption quotas for telephone calls in the administration, according to responsibilities and hierarchy. The Cameroonian president thus tackles a line of almost uncontrolled expenditures that undermines the finances of the state.

The waste in the telephony segment in public administration has become almost alarming. In September, Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel), the Cameroonian telecommunications company, launched a process to recover unpaid bills. It turned out that the whole of the public administration and the state enterprises owed the operator  telephone consumption arrears estimated at 65 billion CFA francs.

Several state enterprises were involved: Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), a public radio and television broadcasting organization, with a debt of 4 billion FCFA; The Cameroon Press and Publishing Company (SOPECAM) with 1 billion CFA francs; and Camair Co., the national airline, with 200 million FCFA. Figures that caused indignation in the country. These bills represent, on the whole, about 60% of the funds invested for the construction of the second bridge over the Wouri and 65% of the monthly wage bill of state agents.

Streamline spending

The concern over unnecessary expenditures within the Cameroonian administration is shared by almost all the leaders. In the government, it is believed that the way of life of the State must be rationalized to remedy it. Last January, following an intervention by the Minister of Finance, Alamine Ousmane Mey, on the issue, the Cabinet Council showed its interest and decided to put in place an appropriate fiscal policy.

This includes “significant reductions in the state’s lifestyle and rationalization of transfer costs” and “scrupulous compliance with quarterly commitment quotas, a ceiling on transfers of appropriations and rationalization of current consumption expenditure “for all state services.

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Deckson N.

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