By Enyichukwu Enemanna
President of Cameroon, Paul Biya says subsidy on petrol remains a heavy burden on public coffers, saying prices of petroleum products will certainly increase in the local market.
In his annual end-of-year address on Sunday, Biya said his government makes big financial sacrifice to subsidize petroleum for Cameroonians.
“You must be aware that to maintain pump prices of fuel at their current levels, which are far below those in neighbouring countries, the State has to make huge financial sacrifices to subsidize petroleum product imports,” he said.
“We will most certainly have no choice but to reduce it further, we will ensure that the requisite adjustments do not significantly impact the purchasing power of households,” he promised.
The IMF has for years called on Cameroon to reduce its fuel subsidies, which are estimated to reach 2.9% of GDP in 2022.
The lender and Cameroonian authorities agreed last November to extend an Economic Program until 2025.
President Biya also vowed to intensify actions implemented to combat corruption and misappropriation of public funds which he said are essential for protecting public resources.
At the end of September 2023, inflation rate in Cameroon reached an annual average of 7.8%.
The National Institute of Statistics blamed the increase on the rise in food prices and transport costs, with inflation rates of 12.8% and 11.5% respectively.