(Business in Cameroon) - Transit costs on the Douala-Bangui and Douala-Ndjamena corridors will be revised downwards. This is the main resolution taken by land transport stakeholders in the sub-region at the end of their meeting on 14 November 2020 in Douala.
On January 1, 2020, the costs had been revised upwards. For instance, instead of XAF2.2 to 2.7 million previously, XAF3.5 million was to be disbursed per truck that transits on the Douala-Bangui corridor, while to reach Ndjamena in Chad, trucks from the port of Douala had to spend XAF4 million (against XAF2.4 to 2.9 million previously).
According to transporters, these new conditions had become so crippling given the Covid-19 pandemic, which has drastically slowed economic activities. In March 2020, trade flows along the Douala-Ndjamena and Douala-Bangui corridors fell by 80% compared to the same period in 2019, according to Cameroonian customs authorities.
While the road transport unions welcome this decision to reduce transit costs, they are nonetheless bitter about the police and customs harassments that persist on these corridors. Among other things, they denounce the poor road infrastructure, the long delays at the port of Douala, the abuse of authority by civil servants, and the multiplication of taxes along the corridors, which (they believe) have nearly 120 checkpoints.