By Pius NYUYLIME, Cameroon Tribune
The figures published by the Ministry of Finance on the mid-term revenue collection are to say the least satisfactory. According to the report on the budgetary execution from January through June, revenue collected rose by 20 per cent or FCFA 286.3 billion to FCFA 1, 716.4 billion up from FCFA 1,430.1 billion during the same period a year earlier.This performance in relation to budgetary projection tells of an extra cash of 8.8 per cent or FCFA 139.1 billion injected into the State coffers.
This performance worthy of praise is accounted for by the significant improvement in internal revenue collection (18.5 per cent) and treasury bonds and grants (27.3 per cent) according to the report. Expenditure for the period climbed by 14.7 per cent or FCFA 204 billion to FCFA 1,592.2 billion against last year. Projected spending at the beginning of the year was FCFA 1,603 billion. This entails that expenditure in relation to projections dropped by 0.7 per cent or FCFA 10.8 billion. Whereas actors in the budget execution needs to be hailed for increase performance in revenue collection in relation both to last year’s performance and to projections, vote holders responsible for putting the money collected into use by way of current and investment expenditure are to be reminded that they have fallen short of performance against mid-term projections.
The arithmetic seems to be very clear. If one were to take the surplus of FCFA 139.1 billion collected and add to the FCFA 10.8 billion that has not been spent as projected, one will be talking of an additional amount of FCFA 149.9 billion that ought to have been injected into the State coffers as extra cash. The question many a Cameroonian has been posing is why the country should be floating on such enormous cash but investment is coming forth so lazily. Budgetary execution as at first quarter was not so encouraging. The figures as presented by each region showed a less than 30 per cent performance as far as investment is concerned. However, the figures of the first half appear to have wiped out the difference. In effect, investment expenditure is said to have reached 106.2 per cent rate. That, at least is something to rejoice.
But now that more cash has been raised, should there be any reason for more investment not to follow? Specialists in budgetary execution are well placed to explain what happens when there is excess in revenue collection. The ordinary man will find it difficult to explain why projects, some of them very urgent should be yearning for money while extra money is lying fallow in the treasury. That may sound so simple a calculation, but it is important for those in charge of budget execution to clarify them of what the situation is all about.>>>