By Doh James Sonkey
The Speaker of Cameroon’s National Assembly, Rt Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril dwelling on some current policy priorities, one of which is decentralisation, said ‘‘the National Assembly would equally like to see the local taxation policy translated into reality with celerity. It is also necessary to devolve power to regional and local authorities with the requisite resources that regional and municipal authorities can easily have access to in order to fully and effectively play their role.’’
He was speaking last November 10, 2023 at the Yaounde Conference Centre as he chaired the official opening ceremony of the November 2023 ordinary session of Parliament dedicated to the scrutiny and adoption of the 2024 State Budget.
Hon Cavaye Yeguie Djibril who however ‘‘noted with satisfaction strides already made in decentralisation called on the House Chamber to rise and observe a minute of silence in memory of our fellow member, our compatriots who were brutally murdered in Mamfe, those who died as a result of the landside that occurred in Mbankolo and two of our fellow members have passed away, namely Honourable Nganbaye Antoinette, CPDM Member of the National Assembly from the Lom and Djerem East Electoral Constituency who died last October 2, 2023 and Honourable Abomo Fama Margueritte, CPDM Member of the National Assembly from the Upper Nyong Centre Electoral Constituency who died on the eve of this ordinary session last November 9, 2023.’’
The House Speaker explained that ‘‘In a Circular dated last August 30, 2023, H.E Paul Biya, President of the Republic, Head of State, personally gave directives for the preparation of the 2024 State Budget. In addition to presidential directives, I am wont to think that recommendations made by Members of the National Assembly during the Budget Policy Debate last July would be considered in the Finance Bill that will be tabled before the Nation’s representatives.’’
He reiterated that ‘‘Cameroon is a State where there is the rule of law and separation of conventional powers, to wit: the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary. These three conventional powers work harmoniously under the Very Enlightened Leadership of the President of the Republic, Head of State and Head of National Institutions. None has the right to jeopardise institutional harmony. Each institution should concentrate on what falls within its ambit.’’
New taxes in 2024
The Cameroonian government will introduce new taxes set to come into effect in the 2024 fiscal year. The decision, taken at a cabinet meeting on November 2, will be submitted to Parliament for consideration during the current ordinary parliamentary session.
According to Finance Minister Louis Paul Motazé, the new taxes are intended to broaden the country’s tax base, reaching previously untaxed pockets, rather than increasing the burden on existing taxpayers.
The move is expected to boost domestic revenue and increase the overall fiscal pressure in the country, aligning closer to the African average, which was reported at 16% in 2020 by the General Tax Directorate of the Ministry of Finance.
Estimated at 11.8% of GDP in 2022, the indicator has reportedly risen to 12.6% in 2023, according to the DGI.
“It is commonly accepted that the share of compulsory levies in national wealth must reach at least 25% to be significant and generate real development”, says the DGI, referring to international standards.