Cameroon: Mobile Telecoms Revenue - Regulator On the Verge of Auditing Operators

For the first time, the Telecommunications Regulatory Board wants to verify whether MTN, Orange and Nexttel pay the expected percentage of their turnover to the State in royalties.

Mobile telephone network service providers holding concessions in Cameroon would have their financial accounts audited, the sector's regulator has indicated. According to Philemon Zoo Zame, the General Manager of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB), an independent audit firm will scrutinize the financial records of MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun and Viettel Cameroun (Nexttel) during the period 2015-2018. In line with the auditing, the telecoms regulator has launched a call for manifestation of interest, inviting national and international firms competent in finance, accounting, auditing, economy and/or engineering in electronic communications. Interested firms will have up to December 9, 2019, at midday, to submit their bids, after which the most qualified bidder will be selected and accorded three months to execute the job. TRB officials said the main objective of the study is to ensure the authenticity of financial records submitted to them by operators, in a bid to guarantee that the correct annual royalties are paid to the State. Under existing regulations, mobile telecoms companies in Cameroon have the obligation to pay 4.5 per cent of their annual income (tax not inclusive) into the State coffers. Going by the tender, the firm which would be contracted by the regulator will extract and consolidate; by category of revenue, financial figures related to the billing systems of the operators. The firm will also examine supporting documents of billings and scrutinize the Call Record Details of MTN, Orange and Nexttel. In addition, the job will entail analysing variance between sales revenue figures in the Statistics and Financial Distribution of the different companies and what appears in their balance accounts. The auditing firm is also tasked with dissecting the gap between financial information from the billing system and what figures in the balance accounts. Besides collecting information related to voice, data, mobile money, interconnection and sale of products like phones and modems, the firm will be tasked to study mobile money operations by the telcos and make comparisons with that of commercial banks which validate transactions.

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