(Business in Cameroon) - Facing a gloomy economic environment, marked by a decline in public revenues and treasury tensions, the Cameroonian public Treasury is having increasing difficulties in fulfilling some commitments. Indeed, based on the mid-year performance review of the 2017 State budget, just published by the Ministry of Finance, out of the country's projected public expenditure of FCfa 982.2 billion for the first quarter of 2017, only FCfa 735.9 billion were fulfilled (performance rate of 75%), thus a deficit higher than FCfa 246 billion.
This decrease in public spending, we learned, has been observed in the three main categories which are running expenditure (electricity, water, telephone, consumables, etc.), investment expenditure and public debt servicing. This performance which is not “laudable”, according to the expression of the Minister of Finance, suggests that, due to insufficient means, the Cameroonian Public Treasury was not able to pay for some expenditure susceptible of making major projects currently underway in the country move forward.
The financial commitments made to some partners and other local service providers were also not respected. Indeed, revealed the Minister of Finance, though the Cameroonian public Treasury “practically fully” covered the external debt during the first quarter of 2017, payments with regards to servicing the internal debt greatly decreased during the period under review.
According to the mid-year performance of the 2017 budget, while an envelope of FCfa 65 billion was set aside to service the internal debt at end March 2017, only FCfa 32.7 billion were finally disbursed (against FCfa 198 billion over the same period in 2016), representing a performance rate of 49.7%. An indicator which does not bode well for State suppliers and the treasury of several local SME.
Brice R. Mbodiam