(Business in Cameroon) - More information on the outcome of negotiations conducted for several months between Cameroon, Eneo, and its suppliers on the liquidity crisis affecting the electricity sector, has just been revealed.
Indeed, during the consultations led by the Prime Minister, Cameroon decided “to settle a first batch of certified invoices for a total amount of XAF45 billion (...) allowing for the injection of fresh money into the sector,” revealed Eric Mansuy, Eneo’s MD, in an interview published by Energie Médias on February 11, 2020.
“This operation (...) will enable the partial settlement of energy and fuel suppliers’ debts and ensure a regular supply of fuel,” explains the MD, who assumed office in November 2019. The payment should therefore ultimately reduce load shedding.
Let’s note that to meet demand, Eneo buys energy from independent producers. It also regularly uses thermal power stations, which run on fuel, supplied by companies like Tradex. Due to a large volume of unpaid bills, many of its energy and fuel suppliers have stopped supplying it, leading to the current outages. According to its own figures, by the end of 2019, Eneo owed its suppliers more than XAF155 billion.
Pressure as CHAN gets close
Eneo justifies its insolvency by the volume of arrears accumulated by its customers. According to its CEO, at the end of 2019, the debt owed to the electricity company amounted to more than XAF180 billion, of which XAF63 billion was held by public companies alone.
According to Éric Mansuy, the XAF45 billion expected from the government will be raised on the Beac's public securities market. Cameroon should indeed issue fungible Treasury bonds for that purpose. However, the date of this operation has not been revealed yet. Nevertheless, it is known that the country plans to raise, between January and March 2020, a total of XAF305 billion on the Beac public securities market, including XAF75 billion in fungible treasury bonds.
The CEO wants to see the operation succeed “as soon as possible.” It must be said that energy-consuming events such as the CHAN (African Nations Championship to be held in Cameroon from 04 to 25 April 2020) are on the horizon.
Sylvain Andzongo and Aboudi Ottou