Cameroon-Fuel Shortage: Paul Biya Instructs Gov’t to Mobilise Subsidies despite IMF Warnings

The supply of fuel has been disrupted for several days in Cameroon. Images of motorists amassed in front of service…


The supply of fuel has been disrupted for several days in Cameroon. Images of motorists amassed in front of service stations waiting for the precious liquid are making the rounds on the Web. The governement appears to be in a dilemma as IMF opposes these subsidies.

After several days of silence, the government finally reacted on 11 July. In his statement, the Minister of Water and Energy, Gaston Eloundou Essomba, explains this situation by the non-mobilisation of subsidies in time.

It should be noted that these disruptions are mainly due to the large envelope of subsidies at the pump that must be mobilized in real time to ensure the import of petroleum products. For the month of June alone, this subsidy, also called shortfall, amounts to 80 billion fcfa and for the first half of the current year, to  317 billion,fcfa “ the government member revealed.

To remedy the situation, the statement said,by the President of the Republic has instructed the government to mobilize “adequate” financial resources to ensure the continued payment of this subsidy. Consequently, the implementation of this presidential instruction has allowed the unloading of large volumes of products already available since 11 July.

Thus, says the member of the government, 28,000 m3 of super, 22,000 m3 of diesel and 12,500 m3 of Jet A1 are being unloaded and gradually released for consumption. Moreover, additional volumes of 88,000 m3 of diesel and 35,000 m3 of super are available in Cameroonian waters and will be unloaded in the coming days.

Last April, Cameroon recorded the first fuel shortage alerts. One had to go to several service stations to find diesel in Yaoundé. The same was true in several cities of the country. In this month of July, the same situation of shortage is repeated. But this time, the problem is different. It is now a question of cash flow problems and no longer of disturbances on the international market due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, as the government indicated.


IMF opposes state subsidies on fuel

Under a sub-programme with the Bretton Woods institution, the country has already injected more than 120 billion CFA francs to support the prices of petroleum products at the pump. A situation that angers the Fund in the sense that it sees a large part of Cameroon’s efforts directed towards financing what the population consumes.
The IMF is giving the authorities until the end of the year to display the truth about prices in petrol stations if they do not want to see the validation of the various reviews of the current three-year programme frozen.

The International Monetary Fund mission team in Cameroon as part of the review of agreements under the Extended Fund Facility and the Extended Fund Facility are in the country.

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