It is estimated that Cameroon loses at least 20 billion FCFA every day during ghost towns and that these strikes are depriving the treasury of 195 million FCFA every day in lost customs revenue alone per estimates by Eyembe and colleagues.
The South West region alone generates 45% of Cameroon’s foreign exchange earnings. This is a very significant daily loss, especially given the very low commodity prices internationally and the decreasing revenue from oil rents.
Revenues for 2016 were already significantly lower compared to 2015 and the external debt is at an astounding level of 27% of GDP.
There has already been severe pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to devalue the currency. The lack of free movement of goods and peoples eliminates daily revenues from tolls.
Every Cameroonian knows that the vast majority of toll revenue ends up in private pockets; even if only 10 percent made its way into government coffers, the result would be significant.
The ghost towns only make it more likely that government will run out of money to meet its basic obligations, a situation that nobody wants. We need level-headed, clear thinkers to start solving this problem before we go down a path of no return.
Source: Nkafu Policy Institute