(Business in Cameroon) - Budgetary revenues from the exploitation of mines and industrial quarries in Cameroon dropped drastically from CFA12.2 billion in 2019 to only CFA630 million in 2020, according to the country’s 2020 Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative report. This equates to a decline of CFA11.57 billion in absolute value and 94.8% in relative value.
As a result, the contribution of these revenues to the state budget over the period fell from 1.73% to 0.12%, we learn. Apart from the non-monetization in 2020 of the State's in-kind share from gold mining, valued at just over CFA1 billion, the EITI report does not explain the reasons for this significant drop in revenue from mining and industrial quarrying in the country in 2020.
However, it may result from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, which, during the year 2020, caused a significant slowdown in overall business activities. According to the EITI 2020 report, this reality has caused the oil sector's contribution to the state budget to fall by almost 24% year-on-year. "In 2020, the extractive sector generated budgetary revenues of CFA535.18 billion, against CFA703.91 billion in 2019, a decline of 23.97% mainly owed to the decline in 2020 of transfers from SNH (National Hydrocarbons Company) to the Treasury. The SNH transfers stood at CFA321.37 billion in 2020, against CFA471.53 billion in 2019, down 31.85% due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on oil and gas activities," the report said.
As a reminder, “the EITI is a voluntary mechanism that aims to strengthen good governance of government revenues from oil, gas, and mining in resource-rich countries. The EITI requires the annual publication of EITI Reports, including disclosure of significant government revenues from extractive industries, as well as disclosure of all significant payments made to the government by oil, gas, and mining companies. Cameroon has so far published fifteen (15) EITI reports covering the period from 2001 to 2019," according to the national monitoring committee of this initiative.
Brice R. Mbodiam