Minister of Commerce sets Out to Markets in Yaoundé

Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana went into the main markets of Yaoundé on March 1 , 2022, to observe practices by a few unscrupulous traders, despite the availability of basic necessities at prices for the essential affordable, despite the global context of their surge.

His first stop was at Mvog-Mbi market in Yaoundé, accompanied by a large delegation of employees and other partners from trade unions, for the import, distribution and sale of seafood products.

It was also a golden opportunity for consumers found on the spot to express how fed up they way with the hike in prices. 

"Your Excellency Mr. Minister, the fish is more and more expensive, we can no longer get supplies, it is becoming very difficult...",this  is Bernadette Ngono, expressing dissatisfaction, but full of hope.

This manifestation of exasperation is not an isolated case. Like this consumer, many Cameroonians have admitted to experiencing enormous difficulties in replenishing the household basket, better to feed their families in these times of health crisis. 

Struck by this deplorable situation, the Minister of Commerce endeavored to ensure that the foodstuffs are available in good quality and that the prices displayed comply with the regulations in force in the field of trade. 

The Minister questioned a few buyers who will indeed recognize that there is fish, but that the scale is not accurately used. Turning to the distribution point manager, the Mincommerce will inquire about the denunciation. After verification on the spot, the audience will become aware that the keeper of the balance is effectively playing with the traders, who are unaware of its mechanism and even their rights. 

According to his observations, he firmly said that there are some traders who do not take into account the weight of the container, which is used to weigh the fish. On the other hand, it was noted that the freezers stocked with tuna, bar, mackerel, cod, carp, chicken, prices vary from 1,350 to 1,500 FCFA per kilogram.

In the same market, Minister Mbarga Atangana went to another distribution point this time for other consumer products such as rice, flour, sugar, vegetable oil, sugar and other margarines. The observation is almost the same, namely that the counters and stalls are busy and the approved prices are respected by the store manager.

At the central market, a trader was caught in the act of not respecting the prior deposit of the scale for the sale of Jadida brand margarine. After subjecting the person responsible for the maneuver to questioning, without success, the Minister immediately instructed the seizure and formal notice of the product. 

To other traders in the same market, not much to complain about. At the Mokol market, a distributor was uncovered, with speculations of the same brand Jadida supplied at different rates will suffer the same fate.

At each stage, the Minister of Commerce advised consumers to denounce speculation through the toll-free number: 1502.

"Do not let yourself be robbed by this kind of practice! Whenever you come across non-compliant prices, call the toll-free number 1502! It's free. The government has made it available to consumers to denounce all kinds of illicit practices in the markets", Minister of Trade recalled.

During exchange with the press, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana was able to realize that "reality is often far from what is said, the rumor having this particularity that it goes very quickly".

He therefore wanted to make Cameroonians understand that persistent inflation is not unique to Cameroon, it is a global phenomenon justified by the perverse effects of Covid-19. 

If nothing is done, the expensive life is likely to get worse. Indeed, explained the Minister, the difficulties in supplying imported products, the rise in the cost of maritime transport and customs tariffs, the increase in freight costs…considerably influence consumption in households. 

"Oganize ourselves within the union to provide logistics, so that transport reduces the cost price. It is not the shortage of the material, but it is the stakeholders in the distribution chain that make consumers suffer. I believe that one day, we will find an answer to all these problems".

"Stakeholders in the distribution chain who make consumers suffer, will be caught. We ask traders to be citizens and not to interfere, not to anticipate the shortage, because we are still within the deadlines of the agreements with the government".

"The merchant and the consumer are partners", the Minister of Commerce said on national television the day before, I followed him, that we have to get used to a new way of life. I believe that is what it is. The world is changing, we have to get used to it, because in any case, we will be overtaken by reality, because the context is global". Minister of Trade concludes.

Pictures culled from 237infos

By Ndefru Melanie


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