“(Business in Cameroon) - By the end of the year 2020, each administration must have precise knowledge of the level of its [water and electricity] consumption and corresponding expenditure.” This is one of the instructions contained in the circular signed last December 31 by the Cameroonian Minister of Finance.
Every administration is thus invited to proceed with the inventory of meters and state delivery points, the evaluation of consumption through the reading and contractor monitoring of invoice indexes, and the signing of minutes with suppliers for transmission to the Ministry of Finance. A summary of each delivery point’s consumption should also be sent monthly to the Ministry of Finance.
“The savings noted (reduction in the amount of invoices) may be the subject of quarterly retrocession to the administrations that made them, by reintegration into their budget in the form of credits for goods and services. The consumption surpluses of the administrations which will have exceeded their quota will be deducted from their following fiscal year’s credits for goods and services,” the circular states.
According to the document, administrations can benefit from a budgetary performance bonus for their optimal management, when an evaluation shows substantial budgetary savings on the initial provisions for water, electricity, mail postage, and telecommunications services.
Similarly, administrations whose operations are deemed to comply with the standards of quality of expenditure may receive budgetary credits for goods and services, automatic lifting of the precautionary freeze and authorization to use the remaining provisions for procurement procedures.
Since 2017, the government has been tackling the extravagant and uncontrolled expenditures which have been increasing public expenditures. In 2016 for instance, state-owned operator CAMTEL claimed that there were an estimated XAF65 billion of telephone bill arrears from the entire Cameroonian public administration and state-owned companies. As for ENEO, the concessionaire of the electricity distribution, it indicated a total of XAF34 billion owed by the state.