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Trade Unions Ask Gov 

A coalition of civil society organisations in Bamenda has called on Government to reduce prices of fuel in Cameroon.
The call was made on July 16 at Necla Hotel in Bamenda during a workshop organised by a confederation called Hotel Industries and Tourism Employers Syndicate (SPIHT) to discuss the recent fuel price hike. The price they asked from the Government is FCFA 450 for super, FCFA 400 for gasoil, FCFA 4500 for cooking gas and FCFA 200 for kerosene.
The host, Cletus Awa, said if the subsidies on fuel will weigh on Government’s 2035 vision of an emerging Cameroon, it should have rather looked for other means to get its revenue rather than increasing prices of fuel. 
“The gross national product of Cameroon is ranked number 168 in Africa. We look at the action of the Government to be a deliberate inflationary act which can cause an economic genocide,” he stated.
Reading from the minutes of the last meeting of July 8 held in Bamenda, by the regional President of the Confederation of Cameroons Trade Union (CCTU), Calvine Anye, the prices of fuel do not reflect the purchasing power of an average Cameroonian. It was suggested in the meeting that in order for the Government to have enough revenue to finance some of its projects, it should embark on measures like: reducing the number and types of vehicles used by ministers and invest money into circulation through the private sector; train youths to have required skills to develop the country and not to depend on foreigners; reduce taxes in order to encourage the growth of small firms which will increase Governments’ revenue. It also added that the five percent increase in salaries has no impact on the society as civil servants are less than 10 percent of the population.
In the various groups divided to deliberate on the issue of fuel price hike, the tourism sector discussed and came out with problems which are: increase in production cost, increase in house rent of employees without any increase in salaries arising from the increase in prices of fuel. Before this, the tourism sector in Bamenda decided to increase salaries of its workers to 80 percent.
In the public and private sector, the group members identified the problem of tremendous hardship and frustration in the public service.
They observed that workers will now resort to taking bribes and others will stay away from work looking for other means to increase their standards’ of living. That there will be conflict between employers and employees and the burden will fall on the consumers. The resultant redundancy in the private sector will cause workers to resign leading to unemployment and consequently increase in crime wave.
For traders, land owners will increase rents of shops and houses and transport fares will increase, thereby causing traders to increase prices of basic commodities. This, the continued, will tighten the economy thereby causing social unrest and black markets and a fall in economic activities which will lead to rioting and dumping.
In the transport sector, there will be increase in the cost of production and reduction in movement of people causing unemployment. It will lead to social conflict among drivers, passengers and car owners, abandonment of food stuffs in farms causing food shortages and scarcity.
Agriculturalists realised that they will be a reduction in production of farm tools and an increase in the prices of farm inputs leading to lower yields and hunger. Farmers will also face transportation problems.
 
As resolutions to the problems, the organisers called on the Government to reconsider its decision on the recent price increase of fuel. They also add that the Government should also force embezzlers to refund the money they took rather than locking them up. 
They sought to know why fuel is more expensive in Bamenda by FCFA 9 than other regions in Cameroon.
They also called on Government to have good policies. All these, the said, will help generate revenue for the government. 
After brainstorming on the problems and possible solutions, the organisers decided to forward a copy of the request to the State for action without which a strike will be eminent. 
 
By Marbel Anjumah & Glory Mbuwil (NationalPolytechnic Students on Internship)
 

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