The government is fully, actively and effectively engaged in the EITI process and there are regular high-level statements of support for EITI. The government has appointed a lead with authority to coordinate actions across ministries, mobilize resources, and has the confidence of all EITI stakeholders.
There is an enabling environment for company participation in the EITI process, despite logistical challenges linked to oil and gas companies’ base in Douala. Companies play their role in providing data, and contributing to the preparation and dissemination of EITI reports. The departure of Total in 2010 and Geovic (the only industrial mining company present in Cameroon) in 2014 had a direct impact in reducing company participation on the MSG, particularly for mining.
1.3Civil society engagement
There is no evidence of any legal, regulatory or practical barriers to civil society’s ability to engage in EITI nor to their ability to freely operate, communicate and cooperate with the broader constituency in relation to extractives or public finance issues. The existence of press articles critical of the government’s management of the oil and gas sector, while few, help illustrate that self-censorship is not major concern. However, concerns over conflict of interest linked to per diems (see Requirement 1.4) appear to hamper the broader constituency’s full, active and effective engagement in EITI implementation. The constituency has established a new platform (OSCC-ITIECAM) that has broadened the network, the implementation of coordination is only starting in practice. Some stakeholders also consider that capacity constraints have hindered civil society’s ability to effectively use the EITI as an instrument to support public debate and reform in these critical sectors.
Since the first Validation, the MSG has renewed its membership and updated its statutory governance rules. However, the new Decree institutionalising the EITI in July 2018 effectively designates six of the eight CSO MSG members and two of the eight industry MSG members. While civil society and the oil and gas industry have codified MSG nominations procedures, the mining sub-sector has not. However, there is little evidence that the constituencies’ coordination mechanisms have been implemented in practice. Decree 2018/6026/PM updates the MSG’s ToR and covers most aspects of Requirement 1.4.b. There was little documentation of MSG meetings in the 2018-2020 period, although minutes of the few meetings were disclosed in November 2020. There were delays in MSG approval of the annual work plans, annual progress reports and EITI Reports in the 2018-2020 period. The MSG’s per diem policy has been formalised, with stakeholder consultations confirming that per diems were paid at the statutory rate in this period. However, there remain significant concerns about conflicts of interest linked to per diem payments on the part of several civil society representatives consulted. The MSG approved an EITI Cameroon Code of Conduct.
The MSG maintains a triannual EITI work plan, that is fully costed and aligned with the reporting and Validation deadlines established by the EITI Board. The 2018 update to the 2017-2019 work plan includes measurable and time-bound activities and identifies domestic sources of funding. However, there is no evidence of consultations in developing the update of the triannual work plan, and this version has not been published online. There is furthermore no evidence that it is updated more frequently than every three years, aside from the exceptional annual update in 2018 that was never approved by the MSG. In addition, while the objectives of the EITI work plan are somewhat aligned with the EITI Principles, they do not seem to sufficiently reflect national priorities for the extractive industries.
Licenses and contracts
The 2014 EITI Report provides an overview of the legal environment and fiscal framework for the extractives, including a description of the roles and responsibilities of government entities, the level of fiscal decentralisation and reforms. The report does not describe the impact of stabilisation clauses in PSCs on the oil and gas fiscal framework, but provides guidance on accessing the model PSC with such stabilisation clauses.
2.2Contract and license allocations
While most aspects of Requirement 2.2 have been addressed in the 2017 EITI Report, there are inconsistencies in the number of mining licenses awarded in 2017. While the report describes the process for awarding and transferring licenses in the mining, oil and gas sectors and confirms the lack of non-trivial deviations in mining license awards and oil and gas license transfers in 2017, it only describes the specific technical and financial criteria assessed for mining, oil and gas license awards, not for transfers.
2.3Register of licenses
Cameroon has developed an online cadastral portal for mining in 2017 and published a comprehensive list of oil and gas licenses in early 2020 that provides all of the information listed under Requirement 2.3.b for most active licenses. There are only a handful of gaps on licenses held by companies making material payments to government, including missing dates of application for 11 oil and gas licenses, missing coordinates for a quarrying license, missing dates of application for five industrial mining licenses and missing dates of award and expiry for one quarrying and two mining exploration licenses.
The government’s policy on contract disclosure is clearly enshrined in the 2018 Transparency Code, which provides government policy despite the lack of implementing regulations to date. The 2017 EITI Report documents this pro-disclosure policy and confirms that no signed mining or oil and gas contract has been published to date, aside from model contracts. While the MSG has established a working group on contract transparency, it has yet to formulate a plan for disclosing all new contracts and amendments from January 2021 onwards.
Cameroon has agreed an appropriate definition of “beneficial owner” and embedded it in national mining legislation, although it has yet to formalise the definition and list of politically-exposed persons (PEP). Cameroon has requested and disclosed some legal and beneficial ownership information from material companies included in the scope of reconciliation in the three most recent EITI Reports, although there is no evidence to date of outreach or data collection from other extractive companies not included in EITI reconciliations. Beneficial ownership information had been disclosed for a total of only 11 oil and gas companies and three mining and quarrying companies included in the 2017 EITI Report. The MSG had not reviewed gaps in reporting of beneficial ownership by all extractive companies.
In mining, the 2017 EITI Report confirms the lack of a state-owned company and describes the state’s minority equity interest in two mining companies (held directly and through SNI), including the terms attached with state equity in each. In oil and gas, the 2017 EITI Report confirms that the only SOE is SNH and describes the company’s roles, responsibility and statutory financial relations with government. The SNH’s financial relations with the government in practice in 2017 are described in the 2017 EITI Report. The 2017 EITI Report provides a list of companies and subsidiaries in which SNH holds equity and describes the terms attached to these equity interests. However, while the report provides a list of oil and gas projects in which SNH holds participating interests either on behalf of the state or its own account, it only describes the terms attached to these participating interests in general terms. the lack of state loans or guarantees to extractives companies outstanding in 2017 is not categorically confirmed in the 2017 EITI Report or other publicly accessible documents.
The 2014 EITI Report provides an overview of the extractive industries, including significant exploration activities.
The 2017 EITI Report provides production volumes and values for all extractive commodities produced in 2017, including oil, gas, quarrying and ASM gold and diamond, with some indication of the location of production.
The EITI Board has previously taken the view that exports from artisanal and small-scale mining from companies not included within the scope of EITI reporting should not be taken into account in assessing compliance with this requirement. All stakeholders consulted confirmed that there was no industrial mining production in Cameroon. However, the lack of information on exports by semi-mechanised small-scale miners is a concern given the significant public attention on this issue, particularly by host communities and civil society. Cameroon has gone beyond the minimum requirements by providing additional information on oil export figures disaggregated by company and export market, as well as an assessment of discrepancies between extractives export figures from government and from the IMF.
The MSG has agreed materiality thresholds for selecting companies and revenue streams. The 2014 EITI Report lists and describes all material companies and revenue streams, names the three non-reporting companies and assesses the materiality of their payments, considered insignificant. The report also provides full government reporting of all material revenues from non-material companies.
The government is entitled to three types of in-kind revenues in Cameroon: crude oil, natural gas and artisanal-mined gold. In practice, it collects two in-kind (oil and gold). For oil, the 2017 EITI Report discloses and reconciles the volumes of the state’s in-kind revenues that were collected, the volumes actually sold and the proceeds of the sales, disaggregated (but not reconciled) by buyer and by cargo. For gold, the report provides the volumes collected and volumes transferred to the Ministry of Finance, without the proceeds of sales given that there is no cash settlement for these transfers. It is encouraging that SNH has made efforts to disclose terms of the general statutory buyer selection process.
4.3Infrastructure provisions and barter arrangements
While the evidence for the MSG’s assessment is not provided in the 2014 EITI Report, the report states that there were no barters or infrastructure provisions in force in 2014.
While the MSG’s assessment of the materiality of transport revenues is not explicitly presented in the 2014 EITI Report, it is evident that the MSG has included transport revenues in the scope of reconciliation and the reconciliation of oil transit payments is presented in the 2014 EITI Report. Additional information on transportation arrangements, including the unit price of transit rights, is also provided.
In mining, the 2017 EITI Report discloses and reconciles the dividends to the government paid by the two companies in which the state holds a minority interest. In oil and gas, the report discloses and reconciles oil and gas company payments in cash and in kind to SNH and SNH’s transfers to government (dividends and proceeds of oil and gas sales). While the SNH’s transfers to other government entities as ‘direct interventions’ are only unilaterally disclosed by SNH and reconciled with the budget execution report, not with the recipient government entities, weaknesses in disclosures of SNH’s ‘direct interventions’ are covered more extensively under Requirements 5.1 and 6.2.
The 2014 EITI Report confirms the centralised nature of the government’s extractives revenue collection, which implies a lack of direct subnational transfers.
4.7Level of disaggregation
The 2014 EITI Report presents reconciled financial data disaggregated by receiving government entity, by company and by revenue stream. There is partial project-by-project EITI reporting in Cameroon (oil and gas, not mining).
Cameroon published its two latest EITI Reports with data older than the second to last complete accounting period upon publication. The MSG approved the report period for EITI reporting.
4.9Data quality and assurance
The MSG-approved ToR for the IA was in line with the Board-approved template and the recruitment of the IA was approved by the MSG. There were no significant deviations from the IA’s ToR in practice. The report includes a summary of the IA’s review of audit and assurance procedures and practices in 2014. The MSG approved the reporting templates and quality assurances required from reporting entities and all but one company and all government entities provided the requested assurances for their reporting. While the lack of publication of the Chamber of Count’s detailed findings is disappointing, the International Secretariat understands these are routinely published by the CdC, albeit with some delay. The report names the non-complying company and assesses the materiality of its payments to government, considered insignificant. The IA concludes that the data presented in the report was comprehensive and reliable. While the summary data tables for the 2014 EITI Report had not been published as of the start of Validation (1 July 2017), the IA prepared summary data tables for the 2014 EITI Report, which will be published once finalised.
5.1Distribution of revenues
The 2017 EITI Report confirms that there were three exceptions in 2017 to the single Treasury account principle for public financial management in Cameroon. The largest exception in value is comprised of deductions from government revenues by SNH-Mandat and spent on ‘direct interventions’ of security-related expenditures provided for in the national budget. While the 2017 EITI Report provides the breakdown in recipients of these ‘direct interventions’ in 2017, it only provides the general breakdown in the use of these funds in aggregate. The other two types of extractive revenues that are not transferred to the single Treasury account are SNH-Mandat’s deductions from its transfers to government to cover the state’s share of costs associated with its participation in oil and gas projects, as well as CAPAM’s in-kind gold collections on behalf of the government, partly retained by CAPAM.
The 2017 EITI Report covers three types of statutory subnational transfers, two of which are linked to the extractive revenues. It discloses the revenue-sharing formula for each and calculates the notional value of subnational transfers according to the formula, even if this data is not disaggregated by local government (commune). Reforms such as the creation of the Ministry of Decentralisation and Local Development and the joint commission of CAPAM and the Ministry of Finance have led to the identification of arrears in subnational transfers host local governments (communes) and disbursement of a first tranche of subnational transfers of extractive revenue. The report confirms the lack of effective transfer of one of the extractives-related subnational transfers but does not provide the value of transfers for the other two types of subnational transfers (one of which is extractives-related) disaggregated by local government (commune). Thus, it is only possible for readers to assess the discrepancy between rules and practices for one of the three types of subnational transfers.
5.3Revenue management and expenditures
It is encouraging that the MSG has made some attempt at including information on the budget-making process and revenue earmarks in the 2014 EITI Report.
6.1Social and environmental expenditures
The 2017 EITI Report describes in general terms mandatory social expenditures according to the terms of mining, oil and gas contracts, but does not provide a comprehensive review of contractual social expenditure provisions. Reliant on self-reporting by material companies, the EITI Report presents only one quarrying company’s social expenditures categorised as mandatory. The other five oil and gas companies and one mining company that reported any type of social expenditures disclosed only voluntary social expenditures. The single company’s mandatory social expenditures provide only the aggregate. There is no evidence of MSG discussions of environmental payments,
6.2SOE quasi-fiscal expenditures
The 2017 EITI Report categorically states that the SNH did not undertake any quasi-fiscal expenditures in 2017, although the MSG’s definition of quasi-fiscal expenditures is narrower than that in the EITI Standard and in the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Manual, by focusing only on social expenditures undertaken outside of the national budgetary process. Nonetheless, the report also refers to SNH’s assurances that it did not undertake any financing of infrastructure works or servicing of national debt in 2017. However, there is evidence of at least one type of expenditures, funded by revenues that are not transferred to the single Treasury account, which could be considered forms of quasi-fiscal expenditures. This consists of SNH ‘direct interventions’ of security-related expenditures on behalf of government. In light of the assessment that these do not represent conventional forms of budget execution (see Requirement 5.1), the International Secretariat considers these to be quasi-fiscal expenditures. While the report provides the general breakdown in these ‘direct interventions’ between equipment and services, it does not provide this disaggregation for each of the 13 government entities that received such transfers from SNH in 2017.
6.3Contribution of the extractive sector to the economy
The 2014 EITI Report provides, in absolute and relative terms, the extractives contribution to GDP, government revenues, exports, and employment, although it only provides material companies’ reporting of their staffing levels. Nonetheless, the results of material companies’ reporting of their staffing numbers in absolute terms is encouraging, even if it is unlikely to provide comprehensive employment numbers in absolute terms. The report also provides an overview of the location of production and an estimate of informal activity.
Implementing countries are not required to address environmental impact and progress with this requirement does not have any implications for a country’s EITI status. It is encouraging that Cameroon has started to include some brief references to plans to establish rehabilitation funds in the mining sector.
Outcomes and impact
Cameroon has made efforts to disseminate the full version of the 2016 and 2017 EITI Reports online, through the national EITI website and social media. There is evidence of efforts to proactively ensure the comprehensibility of EITI data through a number of infographics on the EITI Cameroon website homepage. English translation of the 2016 EITI Report was belatedly published online in 2020, while plans to publish an English version of the 2017 EITI Report appear delayed by the Covid-19 crisis. There is no evidence that EITI Cameroon has prepared summary or thematic EITI Reports to improve the public accessibility of EITI findings and data. There is evidence that the EITI Cameroon Technical and Permanent Secretariats led some efforts to disseminate the EITI Report in the period under review. However, these activities were limited to the capital city Yaoundé. There is limited evidence of MSG attempts to promote the use of EITI data in public debate about the extractive industries.
7.2Data accessibility and open data
Cameroon EITI has agreed and published an Open Data Policy. Data from Cameroon’s EITI Reports has been published in open data format, based on summary data for all of Cameroon’s EITI Reports to date accessible from the EITI global website.
7.3Follow up on recommendations
There is evidence that recommendations are discussed at MSG meetings, that mechanisms are in place to follow-up on them, that discrepancies highlighted by EITI Reports are investigated and that the implementation of recommendations has improved EITI Reporting as well as disclosure of data on the sector.
7.4Review of outcomes and impact of implementation
Cameroon has published annual progress reports in accordance with Requirement 7.4 in the 2017-2019 period but covering old years (2016-2017) rather than timelier reporting. The latest MSG review of outcomes and impacts available at commencement of Validation is the 2017 annual progress report, which covers July to December 2017. That annual progress report was focused on the process of EITI implementation, activities, rather than an overview of the output, outcomes and impacts of MSG activities during the year. The MSG published the 2018 and 2019 annual progress reports in November 2020. While weaknesses in the MSG’s review of the outcomes and impacts of EITI implementation on an annual basis in the period from 2017 to October 2020 remain, these recent publications have provided an overview of outcomes and impacts in this period, even if delayed.