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General News of Thursday, 5 February 2015

Source: Cameroon Tribune

Gregor Binkert calls for decongestion of Douala port

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The 8th "Economic notebook of Cameroon" was launched on Tuesday in Yaounde.

Gregor Binkert, Director of operations at the World Bank in Cameroon, invited members of the Government, economists and media men to the official presentation of the latest issue of "economic notebooks of Cameroon, a quarterly publication, which focused on the port of Douala on Tuesday to the Mont Fébé Hotel in Yaoundé.

The document proposed in effect, the "review of the sources of growth to improve the efficiency of the port of Douala".

Concerning sources of growth, the publication indicated that it is steady at 5% and should remain so for the next five years. And to make it better, "they should facilitate trade, which calls for the decongestion of the port of Douala, where 95% of imports and exports of the country has been blocked ", according to Gregor Binkert.

He clarified that the trade facilitation involved, the reduction of the deadlines for passage of goods.

The analysis of the congestion in the port of Douala points to several grievances, which include slowness, harassment and the unequal treatment of containers.

As a solution, the World Bank recommended them to act on behaviors, particularly for importers using the port as a store.

This could be done by raising the cost of daily storage which is only 600 F/d since 1985 and also, to provide for severe sanctions to be applied immediately, after only 11 days of outdated franchise.

Among others, the World Bank experts also recommended them to establish regular meetings between players and independent audits of the major sticking points, in order to build a consensus.

However, the analysis of the World Bank was made on the database dating back to 2013. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Finance (Minfi), noted that the recommendations have already been taken into account. "The franchise for 11 days has been recalled, instructions given to audit, reminding them the elements of different specifications.

Auction sales are regularly organized while new spaces were created to streamline the port area, explained the Minfi.

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