9 January 2013

Cameroon: While Awaiting Effective 2013 Budget Execution - 2012 Leftovers Sustain Ministries

Those without the remnants are functioning thanks to their relations with service providers.

The month of January is usually described as a difficult one for households because they are supposed to have spent a lot during the end-of-year festivities. The same scenario might appear for government ministries and other related institutions not because ministries spent a lot during Christmas and New Year feasts but because the fiscal year goes with the calendar year and so ends in December. The case of January 2013 may not be different because ministries still await the effective start of the execution of the 2013 programme budget. This is to say the mobilisation of funds to either engender an effective functioning of ministries or the execution of their investment projects which are spelt out this time around in form of programmes, objectives and desired results.

Cameroon Tribune (CT) during a tour of some ministries on Tuesday January 8 was told that there is continual efficiency in government action although the 2013 budget is yet to be mobilised and disbursed. In the Ministry of Trade, for example, the different departments are functioning optimally. According to the Director of General Affairs in the ministry, Boniface Bayaola, there exist cordial relations between the ministry and its service providers such that they meet the needs of the ministry while waiting for when money will be made available for payment to be done. As concerns missions, workers involved go, come back and preserve their mission orders to be paid when liquidity is available.

Meanwhile in the Ministry of Small and Medium-size Enterprises, Social Economy and Handicrafts, there are leftovers that still continue to sustain its functioning. In a chat with Cameroon Tribune, the Secretary General in the ministry, Marie Louise Pouka épse Secke, said they are still functioning with what was acquired in 2012. She said programmes that featured on the ministry's roadmap for 2012 and which do longer need special financing are being pursued while the day-to-day running of the ministry is still being sustained by what was obtained last year. The same applies for the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries (MINE¨PIA) where the Secretary General, Ouli Ndongo Monique, said government does not live on hand to mouth. "We have programmes that do not require new or special financing and that we are continuing." It holds same for other items that the ministry needs to function optimally. Like in the other ministries, MINEPIA is bracing up to organise capacity building workshops to get their officials abreast with objectives and follow-up mechanisms of the programme budget.

In the Ministry of Finance, a circular on the execution of the budget is being prepared with particular focus on better arming stakeholders for efficiency. A source told CT that the problem is not mobilising funds but that of executing and effectively too what is planned. "Vote holders must not only have programmes, but their calendar, their programming, execution and follow up need be well mastered so that the country attains the desired growth rate of 6.1 per cent in 2013 with palpable fruits to impact the socio-economic life of the nation and its citizens," our source disclosed.

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