Business Census: Field Agents Up Against Defiant Business Owners
The exercise is carried out by the National Institute of Statistics.
Field agents and supervisors of the ongoing Second Cameroon Business Census, RGE-2, by the National Institute of Statistics, are facing stony walls as most business owners refuse to cooperate. Eric Ajialeu, one of the census agents in Yaounde, says it needs extra courage and commitment to convince business persons to fill questionnaires and append stamps on their forms. Cameroon Tribune learnt that business persons say the exercise is a ploy to raise taxes.
The Division Head of Statistics for the Productive Sector, in the National Institute for Statistics, Jean-Pierre Wabo, refutes allegation, stating that the ongoing Business Census is part of government’s initiative to update its GDP data, ensure the credibility of companies to investors and furnish updated data to decision makers.
Concerned are stores, shops, barbers’ and tailors’ workshops, plank dealers, factories and restaurants, amongst others. They are being identified, localized, counted and classified as business units in all the 360 sub-divisions of the country. The operation is taking agents to 719 census zones where all business units are identified and geographically located. Heads of business units or their enterprises are interviewed, questionnaires filled and stamps affixed on the business units. The exercise seeks to update the 2009 business Census, promote the private sector and follow-up the quality and rate of employment. It also strives to ensure a strict follow-up of government measures to incite business.
The exercise started in September and ends this month. Data collected is due exploitation in December. It will be analysed and results published in the first semester of 2017. The first Business Census was carried out in 2009. Douala has the lion’s share of the country’s business units, assessed at 35 per cent, followed by Yaounde, with 24 per cent (This does not include the Centre Region 3 per cent and Littoral Region, 2 per cent). The West, South West and North West Regions are competing with 9, 7 and 7 per cent respectively.