By Amina Hilda
The government of Cameroon is said to have reduced customs duties on imported petroleum products to avoid a scarcity on the local market.
Such a situation economists say, could further sink the country’s wobbly economy.
The action comes as the country’s lone National Oil Refining Company, SONARA is yet to recover from a fire outbreak of May 2019. That incident affected SONARA’s production capacity.
Government’s decision is contained in an April 29 , 2022 decision which Finance Minister, Louis Paul Motaze signed.
According to economist and financial engineer, the scarcity of petroleum products could as well be attributed to the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
He is quoted as having said, “since 2012, the price of crude oil in the international market was going down. But with the out break of the war, there was hike in the oil prices which tells you that the rules of demand and supply have kicked in, and the products are no longer enough for the demand in he market”.
In a bid therefore to curb this scarcity, the government has resorted to reducing custom duties on their imports which will promote imports of these products thereby satisfying local demands.
Proffesor Kelly, revealed that the reduction of these tariffs could have a negative impact on the 2022 state budget.
“Government does not function like a private business. Government has other valuables that it factors in and if there were projections, based on the increase in petroleum products, whose capacity we don’t have” he said.