The President of the Republic ordered the suspension of sugar importation into the country till further notice. The suspension came on the heels of alarm raised by the sugar producing company on a serious threat to its existence based on massive importation of sugar. Some 8000 jobs were thus on the line if the company had to cease production because of massive importation.
President Paul Biya has once again proven that he listens to the cry of his people and has a mastery of what is happening in the country. This is evidenced in his recent instructions contained in a May 2, correspondence of the Minister, Secretary-General at the Presidency to the Minister of Trade urging him to suspend sugar importation into the country as prescribed by high instructions of the Head of State, Paul Biya.
As instructed, the Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana has issued a circular addressed to business operators who are holders of importation licence. Trade Minister’s letter to importers suspending the importation of the commodity takes effect from May 2, 2018. “In execution of very high instructions of hierarchy dated 2 May, 2018 the importation of sugar is suspended till further notice,” Trade Minister’s communiqué stated. Though his communiqué was brief, it was however full of significance. Significant because the Head of State’s intention is to protect the local industry while at the same time assuring availability of the commodity to consumers. Minister Luc Magloire Atangana has told the national bilingual daily, Cameroon Tribune that the stock of sugar available can serve consumers for the next six months. There will be no scarcity because the available stock from SOSUCAM and what has been already imported can last for six months.
It is worth noting that President Paul Biya in a bid to promote local industries have been urging Cameroonians to consume Made in Cameroon products in order to limit massive importation. The numerous Cameroon Business Forums and other platforms created by government are geared at promoting in investment in general and Cameroonian labels in particular. Thus, his decision to suspend the importation of sugar till further notice is seen as another giant move of the Head of State to save SOSUCAM from collapsing. With this act, the President of the Republic has eventually saved some 8000 employees of the company that would have gone without jobs.
It is worth recalling that on March 28, 2018, the Board of Directors of SOSUCAM held a meeting to examine the perilous situation which otherwise would put the company out of business. In a communiqué that was issued by the Board, it raised the alarm of a possible shutdown of the company if importation is not checked. By April 4, the Nkoteng and Mbandjock factories of the sugar company had 45,000 tons of sugar which the SOSUCAM officials said could last for over three months. SOSUCAM decried the massive importation which has gone above the quota fixed by the Inter-ministerial committee put in place to regulate the sugar market. The company thus appealed to the government to wade in and save the company and the 8000 employees. SOSUCAM’s cry was thus heard by the Head of State who instructed the suspension of importation till further notice to the interest of the local industry and the employees.