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Curbing Corruption, Stimulating Growth!

Simplifying procedures for both State administration and private enterprises does not only save time

The advent of the Informa- tion and Communication Technologies (ICTs) has not only changed ways of living but also our ways of doing things. Ever since Came- roon embraced the ICTs, a lot of reforms have been intro- duced in the domain of doing business in both the public and private sectors. At just a click, a moral or physical person can conveniently declare his taxes for instance. Within just two hours, an aspirant entrepre- neur can create an enterprise online (www.mybusiness.cm). Also at the pilot One Stop Shop Enterprise Creation Centres located in Garoua, Douala and Yaounde, it now takes just 72 hours maximum to create an enterprise. Given the simplifi- cation of procedures, some 15, 219 enterprises were created in 2016. In the first quarter of 2017, a total of 597com- panies were created, 593 of them owned by nationals and four by foreigners according to statistics published by the Ministry of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Handicraft and Social Economy (MINPMEESA) these reforms introduced in various public administration such as the Customs, Taxation, Treasury, Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Handicraft and Social Economy, Public contracts (e-procurement system) in by Cameroon in the recent years has multi-face- ted advantages ranging from curbing corruption, improving the business climate amongst others. One of the far reaching ad- vantages of materialisation of procedures is stemming corruption as physical contact and bureaucratic procedures are eliminated. In an interview published by a local tabloid on May 24, 2017 the Director General of the Treasury, Financial and Monetary Cooperation in the Ministry of Finance, Sylvester Moh, admitted that reforms in that public administration has reduced corruption to the barest minimum. The payment made to State suppliers, he noted has moved from 90 to 60 days and it is done chronologically. He intimates that suppliers need not come to their offices to chase files but can consult the website www.dgtcfm-cm to verify the evolution of their files which if validated must be paid within 60 days. Came- roon’s taxation department was a few years back accused by anti-grafts watchdogs as a breeding ground for corruption. Today, physical contacts have been greatly reduced as tax payers can pay their dues online (teledeclaration). Attestation for tax payment can also be made authentic online through the website www.impot.cm. Other administrations such as the customs are not left out in this fight against corruption through materialisation of procedure to ease payment of duties. At the March 2017 8th edition of Cameroon Business Forum like in the past editions, ren- dering Cameroon’s business climate attractive was pri- mordial among participants who advocated for 23 reforms amongst which is reduction of procedures for creation of enterprises, access to land certificates, e-registration of personnel for social insurance, publication of legal notices by enterprises online etc. Apart from just joining the bandwagon of modernisa- tion, enterprises and public administrations that have materialised procedures are positioning themselves in the competitive market with rivals in the same line of business. Materialisation is not only time saving but also cost effective especially for enterprises that will have to dispatch an employee with resources and logistics included to go and pay taxes. This is particularly the case of big companies that hitherto had to travel long distances to Yaounde to pay their taxes.

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