The General Manager of SONARA has in a communiqué reacted to the fire incident that engulfed major units of the National Oil Refinery last night. He says activities at the company have been halted until further notice due to the enormous damage caused by the fire incident.
This is happening at a time when the country is battling with the sociopolitical crisis that has crippled economic activities in the two Anglophone regions and to an extent in neighboring Littoral and West regions.
The Cameroon Development Corporation which is unarguably the second employer after the state and has employed thousands of Cameroonians to work in the corporation is severely hit by the crisis; it is virtually on its kneels. Over 80% of its operations are in the crisis hit South West region. Workers have not been to work for several months as a result of the insecurity. Their salaries have equally not been paid for these several months. Several units have been shut down.
Another giant structure which has also been severely affected by the crisis is PAMOL found in Ndian division of the same South West region. Several units have equally been abandoned and workers have fled the division to saver regions.
Some private business establishments have also relocated to saver regions, notably the Littoral and West.
And now, SONARA! Activities in the Oil refinery have been suspended until further notice; no one knows when. The damage has to be access properly; there will definitely be proper planning, reconstruction before a restart. This of course is going to take time; probably several months.
At this point, many are worried that there might be a major economic crisis in the coming weeks in the country. There will probably be scarcity of fuel products: petrol, cooking gas, kerosene, and diesel. Even the available quantity may come with very high prices. This may also be a very challenging moment to those directly or indirectly employed by the company.
As a precautionary measure, households have been advised to buy at least one or more bottle of cooking gas for their homes. Many are also hopeful that urgent measures will be taken to ensure that activities resume at the refinery as soon as possible.
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