Joseph Dion Ngute, the Prime Minister of Cameroon, has told the Ministry of Finance to open up ailing state-run companies to the capital and management of the private sector next year, the African economic news agency Ecofin reported.
During a special cabinet meeting held to examine the budget and economic plan for the period 2021 to 2023, the prime minister presented guidelines to finance minister Louis-Paul Motazé on the viability of certain public companies in need of fresh financing.
Neither official named the enterprises concerned, but according to the 2019 report of the country’s Technical Commission for the Rehabilitation of Public Enterprises (Commission Technique de Réhabilitation des Entreprises du Secteur Public et Parapublic), a number of companies are in need of private capital and the comparative dynamism that comes with private management.
The report named Camair-Co (QC, Douala) as being one of them, alongside the National Refining Company (Sonara), the Cameroon Aluminium Company (Alucam), chemicals giant Cicam, the Chantier Naval shipyards, and the national telecommunications and postal services.
The prime minister instructed the finance minister to prioritise partnerships “by identifying those public enterprises whose capital can be opened to the private sector to relieve the public treasury and increase their performance,” a statement released after the meeting said.
Presenting the main points of the 2021-2023 plan before the parliamentary budget committee on July 5, Motazé explained that to remedy the unsustainable outflow of state revenue and avoid over-indebting the country, “public enterprises may be subject to measures aimed at improving their productivity and profitability,” as this would “help the state to increase its budget revenue, improve its job provision performance, and boost economic activity in the sectors in which these enterprises operate.”