For Quality Budget Execution: Finance Minister Reiterates On Discipline, Mastery Of Public Spending 

Feb 12, 2024

By Nformi Sonde Kinsai

In line with the instructions of President Paul Biya, ordering a cut in unnecessary expenses by public entities, the Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motazé, has told his collaborators to be disciplined and more exigent not only in the Ministry but equally with all matters concerning public spending. 

The Minister was speaking at the Yaounde Conference Centre on January 29, 2024, during the annual conference of senior officials of central, devolved and external services of the Ministry of Finance. 

The event, coupled with the exchange of New Year wishes between the Minister and his collaborators, was placed under the theme: “Controlling budgetary expenditure in 2024 as a challenge to the viability of our public finances.”

Admitting to the press that the entire situation cannot be mastered because of some crisis that crop up and which must be handled, he said such unplanned public spending affects budget execution. 

That notwithstanding, Motazé said all stakeholders in the budget execution chain must be disciplined and master what is planned for in terms of public expenses. “We are happy that the Departments of Taxation and Customs are raising revenue higher than what is previewed. But if we want to have an annual budget that is performant, we have to master all the expenses. Each passing day, expenses not programmed crop up and infringe on what was previously adopted.”

According to him, inclusive economic re-launch through improving the living conditions of the population cannot be done without a mastery of public expenses. He mentioned external shocks Cameroon is confronting and said everything must be done to stem the difficulties if the objective of budgetary equilibrium and consolidation must be attained. 

He cautioned public administrators not to employ if the certainty of paying the salaries is not there. He noted that, if the mass salary continues to increase and attains a certain level making payments difficult, it will lead to two things – a reduction in salaries or lay-off of workers. 

“We are happy that the Head of State has ordered that some unnecessary expenses be put aside in order to have an effective and fully implemented budget. Don’t be wicked but be rigorous in advising and giving a budgetary orientation to vote holders. Some of the difficulties being faced by Cameroon will reduce thanks to effective work to be done by you,” Motazé told his collaborators. He urged them to limit field missions that also accounts for unnecessary public expenses.

He told officials of MINFI, appointed in the various Boards of Directors of state institutions, to bear in mind that they are representatives of the Minister of Finance and must therefore effectively play their roles of budget orientation counselling instead of adhering to whatever is said.

Responding to a question from one of the officials in a ministry actively involved in budget execution, the Minister observed that, to avoid the issue of uncompleted projects, it will be wise to complete ongoing projects instead of launching new ones every year.  

The round-table discussion titled, “Controlling budgetary expenditure in 2024, a challenge to the sustainability of our public finances,” featured panellists from the Supreme State Audit; Directorate General of the Budget; the Directorate General of the Treasury, Financial and Monetary Cooperation; and MINEPAT had Dieudonné Essomba as the main presenter.

During the segment for the presentation of New Year wishes, some deserving workers were honoured with letters of congratulations for selfless services and respect of hierarchy while others received meritorious medals from the President of the Republic for distinctive services rendered to the state.