Cameroon’s Finance Minister Alamine Ousmane Mey who doubles as the Chairman of the National Committee in charge of Public Debt, NCPD, has said that Cameroon’s public debt which stood at 4754 billion CFA is satisfactory. He made the statement on Tuesday, August 30th, during the presentation of the annual NCPD report in Yaounde. This public debt represents about 27.3% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
The Minister went on to commend the government for keeping a very low national debt as it meets the 70% ceiling set by the Central African Economic and Monetary Community, CEMAC. To the Finance Minister, Cameroonians should be happy because the country’s public debt is far below the limit set by CEMAC.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund, IMF, have expressed extreme worries about the alarming rate at which national debts of CEMAC member countries, Cameroon inclusive, are growing. As an example, the Cameroons national debt as of December 2014 stood at 38 Billion FCFA. today it has skyrocketed to 4,754 Billion FCFA within the space of 18 months.
The Finance Minister explained that the sharp increased of the country’s debt within a period of 18 months is due to the numerous projects the government is engaging so as to speed up the 2035 emergent nation.
However, the IMF is really worried for the country as most projects the Government is engaging on are not revenue generating thus making financial returns from such investments to pay back the loans collected are very slim. Adding to the fears of IMF, Biya’s managerial capabilities is filled with huge corruption from all angles and this greatly hampers growth thus Cameroon pays over four times for projects, the amount of money that other countries spend to execute similar projects- IMF stated.
The IMF said most government officials in Cameroon are reluctant, if not completely unwilling to carry out jobs unless they are sure that there are some material benefits to be derived from the execution of such projects, outside their normal salaries and accompanying allowances. The Government within the last two months have collected billions of CFA as loans.
God is still saying something
NB/ Cameroon Journal contributed to this story