Although several discussions and efforts to debate on social security in Cameroon had been made, this issue remains a major problem in president Biya’s social policy making.
Nevertheless, the sector of National Social Insurance Fund (CNPS) has seen some improvement in terms of services offered. The renewal of the CNPS has seen more stations being opened up to ensure that retirement pension’s payment can be paid almost anywhere and that people do not have to queue for long hours waiting to be served. Similarly, pension payments can now be done monthly unlike the previous system of quarterly payments with the pension holders getting money directly to their bank accounts if any.
On a different note however, these new arrangements have not been as helpful as not all the retirees have access to this money owing to the fact that they have insufficient documents to ascertain that they are indeed the beneficiaries or the money deducted from their salaries earmarked for submission to CNPS offices never got there.
In terms of social security policy, retirement has become a puzzle. Without a shred of doubt, the social security in Cameroon is yet to help many despite it being a collective aid for Cameroonians against social risks like illnesses, old age and disability, family and maternity. According to a recent survey, the Prime Minister announced that very few people benefit from this system.
During the unveiling of the government’s social and cultural, economic and financial plans in parliament two years ago, the Prime Minister, Yang Philemon declared that the government was working towards ensuring that all members of Cameroon would be able to have access to CNPS. A month later, the head of state confirmed this issue by informing the public that the social security system was being studied.
The task force responsible for upgrading the social security has conducted various studies and have submitted their reports. This unit has mainly focused on the exploitation, response and validation of the steps taken by the piloting committee which is in charge of upgrading the CNPS. Also responsible for making recommendations, this unit has come up with ways which will expedite a harmonious development of social security in Cameroon.
The report forwarded to the government precisely covers organizational improvement as well as the current management systems in the social security sector. It also works towards putting up measures to cover the people who were not covered before and also upgrade the current benefits for better service.
Under the new management, both public and private sectors will work together towards social security in Cameroon simply because this issue deals with the social protection of all Cameroonians and therefore this should be met by both sectors.
The public organizations include the National Social Security Fund (CNSS), the National Fund for State Employees (CNPE) and National Health Insurance Fund (CNAM). The private organizations comprise of social mutual like the insurance companies, fraternal benefit societies and health mutuals.
This works with CNPS coverage for voluntary insurance, being taken over by the CNSS while the CNPE is responsible for taking care of civil servant’s benefits as well as people who belong to decentralized territorial communities. These three organizations offer four types of cover: family, maternity, old age and disability and work related accidents.
All these reforms work towards modernizing social security in Cameroon while we ensure that all is in accord with the other member countries.
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