Cameroon Workers to Strike over Fuel Hikes

Posted by Eric Haun
Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Transport workers in Cameroon threatened on Wednesday to strike next week over a government decision to cut some fuel subsidies, raising the specter of unrest as the country tries to please international donors.

The government announced on Monday that it was cancelling petrol, diesel and cooking gas subsidies, which would make the price of petrol rise by 14 percent and diesel by 15 percent.

But transport fares remain unchanged, leading unions representing drivers of buses, taxis and trucks to complain the higher operating costs would cut into their earnings.

"It is not normal that they should raise the price of petrol and not also the transport fares," said Pierre Nyemeck, head of the CGSTC, one of Cameroon's main transportation unions.

"If the government wants to prevent the strike, it should also increase transport fares," he said.

Cameroon has long produced both oil and cocoa, but analysts say a lack of reform and political stagnation under President Paul Biya, who has been in power since 1982, have stymied economic growth and development.

The International Monetary Fund has for years called for subsidies, which cost around $600 million a year, to be cut.

But Cameroon has repeatedly delayed the move following a violent 2008 taxi strike over fuel prices that left over 100 dead and a failed bid to cut similar subsidies in neighboring Nigeria in 2012.

Speaking to reporters late on Tuesday, government spokesman Issa Tchiroma Bakary said the measures would benefit Cameroon's economy in the long-run.

"I call upon our people to accept these adjustments with responsibility, understanding and civic-mindedness and not to fall victim to instrumentalization ... aiming to undermine the stability of our country," he said.

The government says fuel subsidies cost Cameroon 157 billion CFA francs ($326.78 million) in the first six months of this budget year alone.

The IMF said in May that Cameroon's overall fiscal deficit for 2014 was forecast at 5.5 percent of GDP, mainly due to fuel subsidies and the expansion of a public investment program.

($1 = 480.4500 Central African Cfa francs)

(Reporting by Tansa Musa; Writing by Joe Bavier; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

MHI to Change Name of Group Company

Effective November 1 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) will change the name of its group company in Singapore from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering & Services Private Ltd.

Petrobras P-66 Platform Module to Boost Production

The P-66 platform’s first modules, built at the Tomé Ferrostaal Consortium’s Module Plant located at the Port of Maceió, Alagoas, are now ready and loaded on the São Tomé barge.

Exmar Optimistic About Gas Carrier Market into 2015

Belgian gas shipping group Exmar said on Thursday that the market for its very large and midsize gas carriers was at historically high levels in the third quarter

News

USCG Cutter Diligence Returns

The crew of Coast Guard Cutter Diligence returned to Wilmington following a 45-day patrol in the Caribbean Sea. While on patrol, Diligence served as the

Southern California Port Congestion

Hapag-Lloyd informs about the congestion at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach that has reached a critical point. I. Several container ships are anchoring

GAC Starts Hull Cleaning Op'ns in Oman

GAC EnvironHull hull cleaning operations using the brush-and-diver-free HullWiper system starting at the port of Sohar, just outside the Gulf of Hormuz. This

Government Update

Easing US Oil Export Ban Unlikey to Raise Gasoline Prices

A government study on Thursday essentially supported the notion that easing the decades-old restriction on exporting U.S. crude was more likely to lower than raise

Rep. Cummings Receives Maritime Service Award

On Wednesday, October 29, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) delivered keynote remarks at APL Maritime’s Senior Management Conference, and received an award

Two Great Lakes Toxic Hotspots Restored

EPA announces removal of two toxic hotspots on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan from binational list The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that two U.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2892 sec (3 req/sec)