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PM Orders 15 Percent Cut On Gov’t’s Running Budget 

By Yerima Kini Nsom

Despite the fact that the 2015 budget has been promulgated into law, Prime Minister Philemon Yang has called on members of Government to cut their running budgets by 15 percent, so as to avoid the extravagance and corruption that has been involved in the running of their budgetary allocations over the years.

Yang passed the order at the Star Building recently after the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, complained about the wastage and the misuse of public funds by some unscrupulous officials. Yang told the members of Government to cut their expenses to size in order to hearken to the President’s prescriptions. This means that the functioning budget for 2015 that stands at over FCFA 2,000 billion should be slashed by 15 percent.

It is worth noting that the allocation for fuel in the 2015 budget stands at a FCFA 35 billion. It marks an increase of FCFA 2 billion from that of last year.

Prime Minister, Philemon Yang

The Ministry of Defence got the lion’s share with a fuel allowance of FCFA 9.2 billion. Observers hold that the allocation can be easily understood, given that, the Ministry is handling the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group.

FCFA 4.2 billion was allocated to the Presidency of the Republic as fuel allowance for 2015, while the Delegation for National Security got FCFA 3.1 billion. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development got FCFA 1.7 billion, while the Ministry of Public Contracts got FCFA 1.6 billion.

Mission allowances in the 2015 budget will consume FCFA 65 billion. The Presidency of the Republic and its attached services bagged FCFA 9.5 billion, while the Ministry of Sports and Physical Education is projected to have FCFA 7.6 billion. The Ministry of Secondary Education has mission allowances to the tune of FCFA 4.6 billion.

The 2015 budget provides FCFA 3.4 billion for mission allowances to the Ministry of Agriculture, while the Ministry of Defence got FCFA 2.7 billion. These are the Ministries that have been allocated the highest amounts for mission allowances in the 2015 budget.

While condemning the fraud that characterises the consumption of mission allowances, President Biya has warned that officials should not go on fake missions just to line their pockets with public funds. During the recent Ministerial Council meeting, he called for the judicious use of such allowances.

It is worth noting that the State wage bill this year stands at FCFA 900 billion which represents 41.6 percent of this year’s running budget. FCFA 183 billion has been allocated for the payment of pensions. This raises the wage bill to FCFA 1,083 billion. Most of the revenue in the budget is for the payment of State workers. This makes the running budget to stand far above the investment budget for 2015 that stands at FCFA 1,150 billion, wherein only FCFA 1,075 billion is invested for development.

It should be recalled that the State wage bill has been increasing constantly over the years. For instance, it rose from FCFA 414.5 billion in 2005 to FCFA 668 billion in 2011. The State wage bill in 2013 stood at FCFA 803 billion. According to economic analysts, the State wage bill has doubled in the past decade.

The 2015 budget has projected FCFA 47.5 billion for emoluments and other allowances. In this vein, the National Assembly tops the list of beneficiaries with FCFA 8.7 billion. The Ministry of Finance follows with an allocation of FCFA 8.5 billion, while the Ministry of Public Contracts comes in the third position with FCFA 4.8 billion. The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation has FCFA 2 billion, while the Presidency of the Republic has FCFA 1.3 billion.

The entire public administration will have FCFA 25.2 billion for the payment of water and electricity bills. The election management body, Elections Cameroon, ELECAM, has FCFA 10.6 billion, while the Senate has FCFA 15.2 billion.

According to the Prime Minister, despite these budgetary allocations, officials should do everything to cut down on spending. Besides the reckless spending on missions and fuel allowances, is the misuse of administrative vehicles.

Even though there are14,000 administrative vehicles in Cameroon, officials still take delight in buying expensive cars so that they can do over-billing and reap unduly from the public till.

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