(Business in Cameroon) - Last August 7, Finance Minister Louis Paul Motaze presided over a workshop in Bangou, the Western region. The workshop aims to popularize Tresor Pay, a non-tax revenue collection platform that enables the collection of all the fees payable to administrations other than taxes and customs. These fees include criminal fines, building rents, competition fees, fees for judicial and extrajudicial deeds, application fees for land deeds and forest exploitation permits, etc.
To date, the government has struggled to control the collection of these resources. In 2021, the national treasury collected CFAF160 billion in non-tax revenues, against a target of CFAF 187.4 billion. For the 2023 budget, currently being implemented, non-tax revenues are projected at CFAF250.4 billion out of a CFAF800 billion potential estimated by the Ministry of Finance. With Tresor Pay, the Ministry of Finance wants to optimize the collection of those non-tax revenues to reach the estimated potential, which is almost four times the 2023 target.
For some years now, the Ministry of Finance has been focused on optimizing the collection of non-tax revenues in a context where internal revenues are dropping and State expenses are rising rapidly (driven in particular by security expenditure, debt service, and development projects). By the ministry’s own admission, the collection outlook for 2024 is not any better than previous years’.
Digitalization of treasury services
"The uncertainties weighing (... ) on the global economy call for caution with regard to the forecast of a substantial increase in the level of own resources in 2024, in a context of falling prices and the gradual erosion of the potential for mobilizing oil revenues, whose projections in the latest budget framework forecast, for 2024, a drop of more than 195 billion CFA Francs compared to 2023," the Minister Motaze warned in his opening address at the 2024 budget preparation seminar on July 13, 2024, in Yaoundé.
In his address, Louis Paul Motaze advocated strengthening the contribution of non-tax revenues to State resources, "given the as yet unbudgeted potential, the still significant margins for progress in this area notwithstanding the effects the soaring prices of basic necessities have on household incomes." To achieve this, tax departments need to ensure “the implementation of a dynamic, resourceful and modern administration, which is based on proper coordination, an extensive use of new technologies and a competent, dedicated and motivated staff,” the Finance Minister continued.
The launch of Tresor Pay is part of Cameroon’s strategy to modernize its Treasury services. The aim is to turn the treasury into a digital administration with a view to "securing the public revenue collection circuit by limiting the use of cash in the State's financial services and (...) controlling the risks of damage to public assets."
Louis Paul Motaze presents Tresor Pay as "a platform that heralds the envisaged issue of the Treasury's electronic money that will enable electronic payments online, via the Treasury’s mobile money platform or the electronic cards stamped 'Trésor public'." The implementation of the reform creating the Treasury Single Account is part of the same process.