Thursday, November 15, 2018
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Business & Economic Week Review 

By Ernest Ndukong

Cameroon Government, through the Ministry of Finance, plans to raise FCFA 200 billion from the sale of treasury bonds.

The funds, according to the decree President Paul Biya signed, are expected to finance a series of infrastructure projects, like the Kribi deep seaport, hydroelectric dams, water distribution pipelines and roads improvement. What tickles the minds of many is how the previous funds raised in December 2010 have been used. Some pundits argue over the exact motive for raising the money.

In a recent interview granted by Finance Minister, Esimi Menye, on CRTV’s Economic Diary, he indicated that the Government has enough financial resources to handle uncertainties. So, why now resort to the issue of treasury bonds which is more costly than withdrawing from reserves? That is, if they are any reserves, at all. Others hold that the money will be used to remunerate the 25 000 Cameroonians to be integrated in the public service; which was not budgeted for in 2010.

Minerals

Petroleum: The West Africa-focused oil and gas explorer, Bowleven, reported a 10 percent increase in share prices following results of a test to ensure commercial viability of the high quality oil located offshore Cameroon in the Douala basin. The test entailed digging the well 3,634m vertically and around 24m in water depths.

The flow rates are estimated at a stabilised rate of over 2,000 barrels of oil a day and are assumed to be commercially relevant. Diamond is precious stone. It is beautiful and expensive. Diamond is renowned as a material with superlative physical qualities, thus a high monetary value attached to it. It is also found in many African countries, including Cameroon.

Botswana Diamonds (BOD) assured investors that its Cameroon investigation programme had already begun to yield success. The Chairman, John Teeling, described it as very exciting, upon reports that the exploration team is now in the process of completing the geological mapping as it tries to delineate the extent of this horizon.

Crop Sector

Cocoa is a major cash crop in Cameroon. Cameroon is the world fifth largest grower of the beans. Thus, the financial repatriation into the country need not be over-emphasised. This feat may soon come to an end if the use of pesticides on the crop is not reduced.

Europe, the US and Japan are the foremost consumers of cocoa and they have issued a warning on the health hazards that indiscriminate use of pesticides in their crops can have. More than 80 percent of Cameroon’s cocoa is exported to the above mentioned markets. This comes just when the sector hit a new record production of 219,295 tonnes, five percent higher than in the same period last year.

Machines

Tractors are vehicles specifically designed to deliver huge quantum of materials at slow speeds. In Latin, it is called trahere which means ‘to pull’. They are mostly used for agriculture and construction. A tractor is capable of executing, in quadruple folds, more than a score of individuals would do.

A welcome dream to have a tractor assembly plant in Kribi is fast becoming a nightmare as equipment to set up the plant has been confiscated at the Douala port for incomplete payment of custom duties. The remaining 235 containers of the equipment would attract FCFA 780 million as duties, before they are cleared to complete the consignment of 340 containers.
 

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