Cameroonians living in the border areas with Nigeria are counting losses following president Goodluck Jonathan’s recent declaration of state of emergency in some states of Northern Nigeria, and closing of the border between the two neighbouring countries.
The move has affected prices of basic commodities in the areas especially as a result of higher petro prices and lack of supplies from the Nigerian markets.
Already, prices of basic commodities that Cameroonian traders used to buy cheaply from the Nigeria side, in Borno State, have more than tripled.
The price hikes are a result of the closure of Banki frontier market that used to supply Cameroon denying them a source of affordable goods.
“Customs revenue from imported goods from Nigeria has dried up as there is no trans-border trade after Nigeria decided to close its border”, said a senior Cameroonian customs officer who sought anonymity because he is not authorised to speak on behalf of the government authority.
Faced with growing threat of terrorism from the Islamists terror group Boko Haram, Nigeria recently closed it borders with some of the neighbouring countries, in a bid to halt cross border terror activities.
As borders were closed, Nigeria also announced a decision on to scrap oil subsidies. That has affected bordering Cameroon town that have relied on Nigeria for petro supply.
Over the years, smuggling of fuel from Nigeria for sale in areas within in Cameroon has been on the rise especially due to better prices.