Social payments: Cameroon

Cameroon’s 2013 EITI Report illustrates challenges in monitoring companies’ social obligations.

In Cameroon, some extractive companies have a contractual obligation to provide social expenditures related to their extractive projects. These include payments for infrastructure, health, schools, roads and other support to local communities. Several companies also make voluntary Corporate Social Responsibility payments.

The analysis of the 2012 and 2013 EITI Reports shows a significant variation in the amounts of mandatory social expenditures. In the oil sector, mandatory social expenditures increased by 606% from 2012 to 2013. In the oil transportation sector, mandatory social expenditures decreased by 100% in the same period, while mining companies only make voluntary social expenditures. The EITI Report found that there is no entity that is currently responsible for monitoring compliance with the legal or contractual social obligations, nor are there any mechanisms for accounting and monitoring of social payments. According to the report, this situation prevents tracking of social expenditures and is likely to limit the impact of these payments on local populations.

The 2013 EITI Report recommended that the government should consider establishing a mechanism to monitor extractive companies’ compliance with social and environmental obligations, and to trace the execution of social expenditures with a view to maximize the impact on local populations.

The report was published in December 2013. The government and Cameroon´s multi-stakeholder group have not yet had the opportunity to considered the recommendation.