The night of Thursday, December 10 to Friday, December 11, 2015 was certainly very long for Senators and cabinet ministers who took part in a plenary session consecrated to the adoption of the 2016 Finance Bill of the Republic of Cameroon. The Finance Bill which contains the 2016 State budget balanced in income and expenditure at FCFA 4,234.7 billion was adopted by the Senate during a more than eight-hour long plenary sitting that spilled over to about 6:45 am, Friday December 11, 2015, leading to the endorsement of the bill.
But before the adoption of the bill, cabinet ministers took turns to the rostrum of the Senate to respond to several questions within the framework of controlling government action. One of Senate’s Vice Presidents, Paul Tchatchouang who opened a series of questions to members of government quizzed the Minister of Finance on what government is doing to improve on the tourism sector in the wake of falling oil prices in order to boost State revenue. Alamine Ousmane Mey, in his response, stated that government is leaving no stone unturned in her quest to develop the tourism sector in the country. He said the 13th session of the National Tourism Board chaired on Thursday December 10, 2015 by the Prime Minister has instituted accompanying standards to boost tourism potentials and hence increase revenue source.
On the payment of indemnities for those whose property have been damaged in the course of the construction of Yaounde-Douala express road as was asked by Senator Jean-Marie Mama, Finance Minister assured that compensation will be paid to them progressively. On whether the Finance Bill reflects the aspiration of grassroots people, Alamine Ousmane Mey reiterated that the proposed budget which was drafted with instructions from the President of the Republic, gives priority to poverty alleviation and attenuating high cost of living by increasing allocation of investment budget to growth-driven sectors like energy, agriculture, infrastructure amongst others.
Transport Minister, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o again was interrogated on the situation of the national airliner, Camair-Co. He told Senators that two audits are to be carried out by CONSUPE and an international firm (Boeing Consulting) as a prerequisite move to rejuvenate the company. After the autopsy of Camair-Co is completed, FCFA 30 billion will then be pumped in to resuscitate the ailing air carrier, he said. Other questions centered on road infrastructure, agriculture, programming of investment projects as well as civic education and moralization.