The Directorate General of Customs has fetched FCFA 282 billion for the State coffers in the first quarter, up from FCFA 279.4 billion in 2014. According to officials of the Directorate General of Customs, the amount recorded as at May 31, 2015, represents an additional 2.6 billion. The FCFA 282 billion falls below the envisaged FCFA 284 billion. The figures were revealed at the quarterly evaluation meeting of central and devolved services of the Directorate General of Customs on May 4, 2015 in Yaounde.
Notwithstanding, the Director General of Customs, Minette Libom Li Likeng, says “the situation is not alarming and that the entire target will be met if things remain the same.” The challenge is therefore for the department in charge of recovering customs duties to redouble its efforts. She however revealed that the FCFA 282 billion was void of the over FCFA 35 billion owed the Directorate General of Customs for the period of January to May 31, 2015. Customs revenue collectors therefore have the daunting task of fetching the FCFA 35.3 billion for the State coffers besides that for the second quarter of the year.
The environment is difficult with the Far North that hitherto fetched reasonable sums now faced with insecurity. The same scenario holds for the East Region. Congestion at the Douala Seaport is not also helping matters. Minette Libom Li Likeng, Director General of Customs sees a readjustment of strategies as imperative for action plan to be met.
The stakes are therefore high with the country into new development reforms. Refinancing the National Oil Refinery Company and implementing the three-year contingency plan forced government to secure loans worth over FCFA 900 billion. The Customs department according to its Director General has as mission to relief the State of the load through the efficient collection of custom duties.
Combining human and material efforts is therefore the way forward with an imminent signing of an agreement between the Ministry of Finance and that of Defence. The agreement will permit the marine services of the defence corps to use their equipment and expertise to fight maritime contraband. 2015 is a year of “Customs surveillance” in Cameroon, and the World Customs Organisation challenged the Directorate General of Customs “to work together with other actors at the boarders.” Signing agreements with other stakeholders is therefore one of the strategies to uphold and improve the management of goods at seaports, airports and boarders.
Source : Cameroon Tribune