On Wednesday 3 August 2022 in Brazzaville, Théodore Ikémo, General Manager of the Congolese Sinking Fund (CCA), made a presentation on the payment of the domestic commercial debt by the State, as provided for in the social project of the President of the Republic, His Excellency Denis Sassou-Nguesso, and in the Government's Action Programme, one of the twelve projects of which is the consolidation of public finances.
Indeed, the consolidation of public finance requires, first and foremost, the normalization of the State's relations with its internal and external creditors. Externally, relations have been normalized. Internally, the process has begun. And today, the payment concerns economic operators whose debts have been audited and validated by independent private firms, namely Ernst & Young and Cacoges. This operation is going smoothly. This operation is going smoothly, not only in terms of normalizing relations with creditors, but also in terms of recovering the State's credibility with operators. For the operators, this payment will enable them to restart their activities and pay the salaries of their agents. This is how economic activity will be revived.
The operation has been running normally since Monday 1 August 2022. There is a counter open at the CCA. All you have to do is present the documents such as the Trade Register number (RC), the Unique Identification Number (NIU), the Bank Identification Statement (RIB) and the National Identity Card (CNI). Payment is made at the banks. To be paid, the claim must be audited and validated beforehand, because the state must confirm that the pay it makes corresponds to the work done.
‘’We are paying the small creditors first, in this same phase. Then we will start the second phase, with creditors of more than CFAF 10 million. It will not take us long to move on to the second phase, because there is a strategy, a discharge plan that is already in place. They will just have to choose the option that suits them best. Each proposal will include the payment of the discount, according to the current financial capacities. Then, a repayment period for the amount will be fixed after payment of the discount.
This operation is in line with the provisions of the Programme concluded by Congo with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This programme places particular emphasis on the payment of both domestic and foreign debt. This Programme does not allow Congo to accumulate payment arrears. There are 204 creditors who will be completely removed from the commercial debt file of CFA F 10 million or less per beneficiary.
The operation is clear, simple and transparent: each creditor brings the documents required for payment to the CCA. Once gathered, the constituent elements of the transfer are forwarded to the Treasury, which in turn transmits them to the Central Bank. The Central Bank will dispatch the funds to each account whose number is communicated to the CCA. To date, we have received about fifty files. These are arrears accumulated by the State, dating from 2003 to 31 December 2018.
This operation will not end until the Global Creditor Clearance Plan is in place. The Administration remains open to all possible claims’’, DG Théodore Ikémo said to the press.
Interview by the Communication Unit of the Ministry of Finance