Top breweries in Cameroon are issuing warnings that the ongoing Anglophone crisis and new taxes imposed on beer producers and sellers in Cameroon will gut their profits in 2019.
According to recent media reports and interviews with people with information about the matter, the ongoing conflict in North West and South West regions of Cameroon, is not only putting vehicles transporting alcohol drinks across both regions at risk, it is also making it impossible for drinking spots to operate.
“Separatist have burnt over a dozen trucks, damaging millions of bottles of drinks, and drivers are afraid to transport beer to these regions” an official with Brasseries du Cameroun, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because she was not allowed to discuss the matter with the media, told National Times.
“We have lost over [FCFA] 1.3 billion from the Anglophone crisis. And I think if you add lost revenue while beer parlours are closed, we will be talking of roughly [FCFA] 10 billion or even more,” the official added.
But besides the Anglophone crisis, a recent tax increase introduce by the government in the 2019 Finance ACT is creating even bigger headaches for both beer makers and sellers.
According to Business in Cameroon, a major business new outlet in the country, “It’s not the first time the brewing sector is facing difficulties about the implementation of taxation provisions. This time, in addition to having broadened the tax base (by reducing the allowance from 20% to 10%), the new Finance Act provides that excise duty is to be calculated on the retail price recommended by production companies”.
Cameroon has one of the highest beer consumption rates in Africa. With pressure on the government to increase its revenue in light of fall in oil prices and civil war in the Anglophone region, the government seems to believe it can take advantage of the Cameroonians addiction to beer to fund its expenses.