10, June 2016
Unidentified subscribers to the Cameroon Telecommunications, Camtel, MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun and Nexttel have for over a month been again receiving messages inviting them to rush to sales points to update their files and or correct bad identification. The response has been prompt. The operation has been launched separately by mobile telephone operators under the auspices of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications with the Telecommunications Regulatory Board playing watchdog role.
Some operators like MTN Cameroon have opted for proximity identification, given the stakes of the exercise. The company has deployed teams to Yaounde neighborhoods like Ngoa-Ekelle, Mvan, Ngoussou, Bastos, and Soa etc to reach maximum clients. It is motivating subscribers with free airtime to scale up the number of identified clients. Other operators like Orange Cameroun have remained true to themselves, sensitizing clients on the reasons for having their identities in the database. The company’s sales points and shops have since witnessed unprecedented crowds, with subscribers committing to the exercise.
Information garnered from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication reveals that previous operations did not meet the expectations of the Head of Government wholly. Government is therefore out for serious business. Security stakes are high and no government will fold arms to jeopardize the livelihoods of its citizens. Today June 10, 2016, is deadline for identification. Mobile phone operators have warned feet-dragging subscribers that their lines will be suspended if not found in the database.
The operation comes after that which was carried out late last year. It was prompted by the Prime Ministerial decree of September 3, 2015 spelling out the conditions for identifying subscribers. Subscribers, according to the decree, are expected to submit original copies of their National Identity Cards, residence permits for foreigners, complete address and sketch of the home’s location as well as the international identity of the equipment terminal (IMEI) for identification.
Unlike in the past when subscribers upgraded profiles with photocopies of ID cards, the current operation obliges subscribers to present originals of their particulars for complete identification. Mireille Flore Dongmo, one of the agents of MTN Cameroon, told Cameroon Tribune at CETIC Ngoa-Ekelle, Yaounde yesterday June 9, 2016, that subscribers are yet to draw a line between registration and identification. The agents are using innovative technology to scan ID cards and have them signed by subscribers to complete the identification procedure.