Ensuring Availability, Affordability

Godlove BAINKONG | 24-01-2018 11:42


Government, through the Ministry of Trade, in her traditional watchdog role on January 23, 2018 held talks with dealers in basic commodities. Like in previous meetings, yesterday’s conclave was to have a global look at what the market has for the population and how sustainable supply could be in the short, medium and long terms.  

However, the current context requires more than simply sitting to respect tradition. All and sundry are coming out of a festive season where much was consumed in terms of basic items. No one would love to hear of scarcity soon.

Not even artificial scarcity which unscrupulous business people usually concoct to drain helpless consumers of scarce liquidity. Stability absolutely needs to be ascertained for life has to continue. In fact, it has to be lived and not endured! 

The people’s purchasing power has not increased. As a matter of fact, it has rather seemingly dwindled at the aftermath of the heavy feasting coupled with the huge loads of sending children back to school and paying their second or last instalments of tuition. This is even further exacerbated by the ‘dryness’ of the period. As such, anything that increases the population’s cost of living now, especially irresistible feeding, would be suicidal.
Reason why there should be unquestionable seriousness on the part of government in ensuring follow up and sincerity of businessmen both on the availability and affordability of what they deal with. Hope is that the assurances the business people gave government yesterday on the stability in supply and prices of basic commodities would be respected to the letter. There shouldn’t be any justification sooner or later on whatever scarcity and or increase in prices.

Even if there are or could exist challenges in the availability and affordability of whatever product, gatherings like that of yesterday should help to strike a balance. Playing to the gallery with indispensable basic commodities wouldn’t be a productive gesture for both the State and the business community.

All of them exist because the population is there and should therefore strive to meet them at their points of needs.

2018 is no doubt a challenging year both politically and socio-economically. The population needs to eat fully and at affordable costs to be able to conveniently live up to the challenge of their civic responsibilities.

Anything short of this may be prejudicial to what is expected of them either in shaping the political life of the country or participating in its socio-economic emancipation. Hunger precipitates anger and the two are vices against a developed and politically stable country which Cameroon seeks to attain.

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