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Sale of Quarry Products : Nationals Lagging Behind!

Industrial production and market of quarry products is dominated by multinationals while nationals w

The exploitation of quarries for all types of sand, gravel, marble, limestones, clay, and laterites amongst others, in Cameroon is a liberal sector opened to both nationals and multinationals. The activity is being regulated by the December 2016 law on Mining Code. Quarry exploitation involves all the ten regions of the country as sand for example is common to find in all parts of the triangle. Sand mining is most common in almost all big rivers in the country. The Moungo River that cuts across the South West and Littoral Regions, Rivers Sanaga, Logone, Benue amongst others are principal sources of sand. About 80,000 tons of sand is supplied to the nation’s capital, Yaounde on a daily basis from the Sanaga River (Ebebda). Gravels of all sizes are also crushed in many quarries across the country. In Yaounde for instance, there are more than 15 industrial quarries to go by Daniel Dicoum, one of the Yaounde-based exploiters. Meanwhile huge deposits of laterites are found in the South West and Littoral Regions while limestones and marbles whose capacity the Ministry of Mines, Industries and Technological Development estimates at more than 6 million tons are common to find in the North Region where ROCAGLIA company and CEMENCAM are exploiting the resources for the production of cement and house tiles in Figuil according to Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) report. The reports indicates that CEMENCAM exploits 180,000 tons of limestone per year According to the 2011 EITI conciliation report for Cameroon published in 2013, a total of 51 quarry licenses have been accorded to 38 companies. Some other foreign enterprises involved in the business includes amongst others, Arab Contractors, RAZEL, China Construction Company, Sagea-Satom  Despite Cameroon’s enormous endowment with these natural resources, Cameroonians are lagging behind in its exploitation and commercialisation. The sector is dominated by multinational companies with financial and technical means for industrial exploitation as affirmed by Daniel Dicoum. He equally argued that while foreign governments lend money to their enterprises, Cameroonian enterprises on their part buy it with a 30per cent quota from the government. Cameroonian fiscal legislation, he says, also favours foreign companies in terms of custom and tax exoneration for a certain period of time. Mr Dicoum, who operates an industrial quarry in Awae, Centre Region, chides public authorities for not patronising Cameroonian enterprises by giving them supply command as they do for multinationals. Local enterprises thus depend on private individuals for business. ‘Unhealthy’ competition which is said to have taken hold of the sector as a result of industrial production by multinationals has invariably caused a drop in prices for instance a truck of gravel now cost FCFA 250,000 from FCFA 450,000 in Yaounde. Cameroon is a country rich in extractive resources, given the potential revealed by exploratory research in just over 40% of the territory. The economic importance of the quarry resources cannot be over emphasised as the country is transformed into a construction site with many infrastructural projects aimed at boosting growth ongoing.

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