(Business in Cameroon) - The Garoua-based factory of Cotonnière industrielle du Cameroun (Cicam) has shut down since last July 7. For the second time in a month, Cicam is suspending operations at this plant due to a lack of fuel to make machines work.
In a letter sent on July 12 to the Managing Director of Cicam Edouard Ebah Abada, the Director of Production Adoum Abagana confirmed this statement but did not specify whether the lack of fuel is due to Cicam’s insolvency or an actual shortage of fuel oil 1500, which is the type used at the plant.
The company however plans to resume activities on July 19, 2022. "Even if we are planning to resume operations on July 19, it’s not very certain,” an employee of the plant said. This comment reflects the general malaise that has been present among the 300 employees of the Garoua plant for several years. Indeed, despite the signing in 2015 of a CFA13.2 billion contract plan with the state, its 100% shareholder, Cicam is still struggling to keep its head above water. The once market leader in Cemac now controls barely 5% of the local market. Fabrics are now massively imported from China and West African countries, particularly Nigeria.
This stiff competition sometimes smuggled in, has had a significant impact on Cicam's finances. According to official financial statements, the company has accumulated losses of CFA13.4 billion in 2018-20, with a peak of CFA5.3 billion in 2018 alone. Its revenue, meanwhile, fell from CFA13.2 billion in 2018 to just CFA9.9 billion in 2019, before dropping to CFA7.3 billion in 2020, a drop of almost 50% compared to 2018.
Due to a lack of cash, Cicam is not even able to produce enough fabrics for Women's day (March 8, ed).
Brice R. Mbodiam