COVID-19: Cameroon’s Electricity Corp Investment Budget Down By $42 Million

Cameroon’s lone electricity supplier ENEO is cutting down its 2020 fiscal year investment budget from 67 billion FCFA (about $134 million) to 45.7 billion FCFA (about $91 million).

“The Covid-19 crisis has negatively impacted the putting into place of our investment plan. 

“The Board of Directors, taking into consideration the severe constraints linked to the sanitary crisis, has validated an adjustment to the operational and investment budget of the enterprise, slashing it from 67 to 45.7 billion FCFA for 2020”, sources in the company revealed. 

This is a drop of 21.3 billion FCFA.

This drop comes at a time when the company is facing difficulties in replenishing diverse equipment.

“The supply chain has experienced delays as a result of the fall in activities in the logistics sector of several of our input suppliers in the foreign network”, the company explained.

It is worth noting that despite the fact that ENEO has over the years been accused of cut throat billings which do not tally with the services provided, the company has not been meeting with its obligations vis-a-vis local suppliers of goods and services.

Last week, its subcontractors gave notice of a strike which was due to have started August 31, 2020, reasons being that ENEO was owing them a global sum of 6 billion FCFA (about US$6 million) in unpaid bills for services rendered within the past five years.

Mathurin Zebaze, President of the Association of Electricity and Water Companies of Cameroon popularly known by its French acronym ESSELEC, which called for the strike, says ENEO’s delinquencies are reaching very alarming proportions to the point where several of their member companies have gone bankrupt adding that their employees are directly affected through wage delays.

As is always the case with Cameroonian threatened strike actions, hardly any of the ASSELEC member enterprises is respecting the strike call.

“The usual thing is always that when workers or a group of companies threaten to go on strike, government and the state subsidiaries so threatened call a number of union leaders and gives them envelopes thus setting confusion within the ranks of the workers and companies and before anyone knows it, the strike action fizzles out even before it starts. This seems to be the case with the ASSELEC threat”, declared a worker with one of the ASSELEC member enterprise.

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Chief Bisong Etahoben

Chief Bisong Etahoben is a Cameroonian investigative journalist and traditional ruler. He writes for international media and has participated in several transnational investigations. Etahoben won the first-ever Cameroon Investigative Journalist Award in 1992. He serves as a member of a number of international investigative journalism professional bodies including the Forum for African Investigative Reporters (FAIR). He is HumAngle's Francophone and Central Africa editor.

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