Following its discreet release on Friday, December 29, members of the opposition and ordinary citizens had a few days to delve into the 91-page “Final Report on the Execution of the Finance Law for the Settlement of the 2022 Budget.” Sufficient time to provoke a flurry of questions and suspicions of corruption, especially regarding revenues related to the issuance of identity cards, residence permits, and passports.
A seemingly inconspicuous line in a small table within the extensive 91-page report has sparked a wave of comments and astonishment on social media. According to the Court of Auditors, the Ivorian state only collected 878,713 francs – approximately 1338 euros – in revenue from fiscal stamps for passports and other identification cards, despite their issuance fees being 40,000 and 5,000 CFA francs each.
Former PDCI senator Jean-Baptiste Pany raises critical questions: “How much is the actual amount of revenue collected by the concessionaire structures ONECI and SNEDAI? And where is the rest of the money?” He emphasizes the citizens’ legitimate right to know how the funds, especially those from the 5,000 CFA francs paid by Ivorians, have been utilized.
The report highlights, “The Court notes that the level of collection of these rights and taxes is too low given the potential resources to be mobilized in this matter.” The Ministry of Budget’s response, stating that the issuance of administrative documents and related collections is no longer under the purview of the Treasury, is contradicted by the Court of Auditors. The Court specifies that, by existing agreements and laws, half of the passport issuance fees should be remitted to the Treasury every 10th of the month.
Furthermore, the Court of Auditors scrutinized the accounts of the University Hospital Center of Treichville from 2016 to 2020, revealing numerous “irregularities.” This development adds another layer of concern regarding financial oversight and governance within key institutions in Côte d’Ivoire.