FCFA Coins Scarcity Persists

Most inhabitance in Douala confess that the rarity of FCFA coins make transactions and life difficult.

Coins are an important aspect in an economy. Most often the economy will reap huge dividends in using coins for small transactions rather than bank notes whose aging rate is faster than the rate at which coins deteriorate. In Cameroon coins are issued in FCFA 1, 2, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 and 500 FCFA, but today these coins are fast disappearing.

Coins are becoming rare in Douala as the days go by. In all the streets of Douala, people complain about the scarcity of coins. The phenomenon is causing untold suffering to the population as everyday one needs to have coins before doing any transactions. In some cases one might not be able to carry out transaction as the business man will simple tell you “Je n’ai pas la monnaie”.

It becomes more difficult in the morning when boarding a taxi as most taxi drivers simple inform passengers that “if you don’t have coins, do not board my taxi”. It become more worrisome as some traders are exploiting the situation, some play fast tricks and tell customers that they don’t have coins and force them to buy more so as to make up with what they have.

For instance, in a case were an individual needs to spend FCFA 300 they return FCFA 100 and asked you to take something for FCFA 100 against your will. Some taxi drivers in Douala simply take the bank note and drive off claiming that you didn’t inform them. More to that some petty traders in the city of Douala now take advantage of the inadequacy of smaller denominations of the legal tender to sell coins.

Some opinion holds that some game machines from Asia swallow up the coins which are eventually transported to that part of the world to make jewelries to sell at higher values. Professor Georges Mbondo, Head of Department of Public Economics in the University of Douala explained that some people have taken advantage of the situation and hoard the coins to later sell at a higher value.

He said latest information indicates that some people withdraw the money from circulation for reasons that are yet to be known. He also acknowledged that most people are forced to buy against their will so as to catch up with whatever small change is being offered by the business operator.



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