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Banks Paved Way Out of Direct State Payments
Category :- Economy and Finance Author :- L. J. KINGAH 
Posted on September 20, 2019, 10:27 am

Cameroon Migrated to Effective Systac System of Payment

It has been established and today the salaries of Cameroon civil servants and pensioners are paid directly into bank accounts of the beneficiaries where in cases of difficulties, victims must submit an accurate Bank Account Details issued not more than three months earlier.

 On August 14, 2019, the Finance Minister for Cameroon, Louis Paul MOTAZE, signed an agreement with credit institutions. It was to migrate salaries from the Systéme de Gros montant automatisé (Sygma) since 2007. Here beneficiaries’ salaries and pensions were disbursed in bulks to the banks that in turn paid respectively to accounts.  It was migrated to the platform Systéme de télécompensation en Afrique Centrale (Systac), where salaries are directly disbursed into workers accounts.

LOUIS PAUL MOTAZE - MINFI

Just after establishment, on the database of Ministry of Finance, it was realized that, out of 410,020 bank account numbers 21,685 lacked information. To this, later clarifications were made. It was stated that, for salaries, bonuses and other benefits of 2019, for its employees, Cameroon Government is spending XAF 1.024billions. Far away, it has increased by 34billion as of 2018.

During the recent annual conference of heads of central, external and decentralized services of the Ministry of Finance, in January 2019, there was a presentation of the forecast of the state’s financial operation (Tofe). It was stated that, again, there will be an explosion during the period of 2019-2021 in this line of expenditure. And the government has worked hard for years to keep in check.

 The largest share of the money is directed to salaries and pensions which is often unduly received. However, it was forecasted that by next year, 2020, state spending related to employees will extend to XAF1,128.1billion. This will be XAF 70 billion higher than in 2019. Which in 2021 will expand by XAF 58 billion to reach XAF 1. 186 billion?

Still, during the conference, it was revealed that, in the Cameroon Government Personnel Counting Operation of between April 20th and July 10th, 2018, more than 310000 public officials were registered and only 285000 were active.

Note should be taken that during a cabinet meeting, on December 2018, following the above discovery, Minister Motaze said that payment suspension made it possible for Cameroon to save XAF 394.7 billion per month. And this was equivalent to XAF4.7 billion per year.

According to the Minister, Sygma has a series of significant disadvantages like, rejected salaries which are not quickly returned, the opacity in the processing of payments and ineffectiveness in process of salary suspension for illegal situations for civil servants. Nevertheless, he said it was advantageous in serving working time.

 The main reason for the change in the system of payment was to; reduce the payment of ghost workers-those who have travelled out of the country and yet receive salaries and fraud non-workers, who receives salaries. In all, it was to clean the payroll.

Cameroon in the past years of insecurities has lost a lot. For example, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) stripped Cameroon off 2019 Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournaments rights. This was as a result of delayed infrastructure. Also, because of the ongoing insecurity.  To avoid the repetition of the 2010 Angolans separatists’ attacks on players, CAF could not risk coming to Cameroon. Failing to host stripped Cameroon of the financial benefits that come with it.

Embezzlement has severally been reported in Cameroon. We never heard of refunds. It was claimed that an estimated amount of € 1.8billion of Cameroon public money was defalcated in controversial shrouded contracts. This is facilitated through corruption endemic many officials in jails.

Embezzlement has severally been reported in Cameroon. So it is rather a major cause that swallows up Cameroon’s funds. But, rather than giving the actors the chance and time limit to refund, they are locked up in jails. Some have years to serve the prison terms while others go into life imprisonment. This instead weighs on the government for, at times, their pressing basic necessities are even catered for. So, the change in system payment might clearly payrolls but embezzlement among others has to be properly handled.

However, it should be noted that before now, pensioners have been faced with terrible challenges. It was very common to see them stranded at respective financial yards they believed could be helpful. For example, at Chateau, Ngoa-kele, old people could be seen tiredly sitting, lying or sleeping at their supposed pay post. Yet, it always seems abortive. 

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