Cameroon: Special Telecoms Fund - Operators to Pay 3 Per Cent

Telecoms

Telecommunications operators in the country will pay in, annually, 3 per cent of their business turnovers to an account at the Central Bank opened by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications. This is to feed a Special Telecommunications Fund set up within the framework of the 1998 reforms that came with the liberalisation of the sector. Initially, they were paying in 2 per cent to the "Fond Spécial d'Affectation" in the Ministry of Finance.

This innovation is contained in a Presidential decree of June 26, 2012 setting out the modalities for the management of the Special Telecommunications Fund, code-named, "Le Fonds" (The Fund). The Telecommunications Regulatory Board, by the decree, is charged with ensuring that the operators effectively pay in the required amount to the account. Like any tax that is paid based on what operators declare as their business turnover, the decree empowers the Telecommunications Regulatory Board to verify the amounts declared. As such, in case of any doubt, the regulator can carry out an audit at the expense of the operator.

The Fund permits the State to develop the telecommunications sector by taking telecoms services to where operators cannot by virtue of their profit motive, especially in the rural areas where profit margins are either low or inexistent, as well as pay the country's contributions in international organisations concerned with information and communication technologies.