This agreement was signed on October 15, 2021.
Since the fire of four refinery units of the National Refining Company (SONARA) on May 31, 2019, everything has been slowing down on that side. SONARA is unable to keep to its commitments. One of these commitments is the repayment of its bank debt of 284 billion FCFA with partner banks. To find an outline of a solution to this problem, an agreement defining the conditions of repayment of this debt was signed on October 15, 2021 between the State of Cameroon through its Minister of Finance, Louis Paul Motaze, and nine local banks. .
According to Investir au Cameroun, the new repayment term for this matured debt is now 10 years and its interest rate is 5.5% excluding taxes. This reimbursement will be made per month. The banks concerned by this so-called restructuring operation are: UBA Cameroon, BGFI Bank, Afriland First Bank, Ecobank, Société Générale du Cameroun, Standard Chartered Bank, CCA-Bank, BICEC and CBC.
Our colleague specifies that this restructuring is backed by the mechanism of the special account opened at the Central Bank into which the resources from the refinery support line of CFAF 47.88 per liter of petroleum products consumed at the pump are transferred, in order to ensure the repayment of this debt.
“This grant is collected by SCDP and SONARA. In order to ensure the optimal functioning of this special account, I urge these two structures to take all the necessary measures aimed at maximum collection and the timely repayment of collections, “said the Minister of Finance.
A little earlier, a working group was set up to find a solution to this SONARA debt. It was the work of this group that led to the signing of the agreement of October 15, 2021.
After finalizing the agreement with the banks, attention should now be focused on the debt owed to traders (312 billion FCFA at the end of April 2021). The authorities have told US rating agency S&P Global Ratings that negotiations are on track.
In addition, the State of Cameroon was brought before the British courts by a subsidiary of Glencore over a disagreement over a sum of 75.6 billion FCFA. A first hearing was announced for the end of July 2021, but no news has yet been given on this subject. Authorities have said they will fight to the end.
Finally, there is the tax debt of Sonara (172.9 billion FCFA at the end of July 2021) and local service providers whose reimbursement mechanism is not publicly mentioned. Another little-known aspect in the management of this company’s debt is the role played by foreign shareholders who control 19.7% of its capital.