Cameroon’s economy is losing billions due to the ongoing Anglophone crisis that also includes ghost town operations, French language daily, ‘Le Quotidien de l’economie’, reports.
The crisis has recorded thousands of deaths going by rights groups reports, and displaced almost half of the affected region’s population since October 2016.
Going by the paper, the scale of the destruction runs much deeper than death tolls or damage to infrastructure alone can capture.
An economist, in the report stated that the two Anglophone Regions (Southwest and Northwest Regions), play a strategic role in the Cameroonian economy.
He said consequently, the disruption of economic activities in the two regions can only lead to big losses to for the country’s economy.
Taking the Southwest for example, Essomba asserted that the Region with its oil production, huge agro-industries like CDC and PAMOL and other big economic activities, is indisputably the first amongst the 10 regions in terms of contribution to the economy.
Many have lost jobs compounded by internet cuts, while others drop out of school due ineffective educational activities.
“The long-term consequences of this inactivity will be a collective loss of human capital leading to a shortage of skills in Cameroon,” the paper said.
The report noted with regret that the economic weight of the Southwest Region may not be visible to many people, because of the controversial decision of the Government to compel several big companies in the region to pay their taxes either in Douala or Yaounde.
Going by the paper such a situation is misleading as the Southwest Region is deprived of the credit for its rich natural resources.
The National Oil Refinery, SONARA, for example is said to pay its taxes in Douala instead of Limbe where it is located, or even in Ndian Division where the crude oil really comes from.
Breakdown of society
Many pundits have described the number of casualties as devastating, but equally opine that the crisis is also destroying the regions private and public institutions and systems that societies need to function, and repairing them will be a greater challenge than rebuilding infrastructure – a challenge that will only grow as the crisis continues.