23, August 2016
300 demands for the new national identity cards are recorded daily at the Yaounde 10th District Public Security Station; one of the four pilot identification posts set up in the capital city to issue national identity cards under the new identification system set up by the service provider, GEMALTO.
At 10.00 am yesterday, August 22, 2016, crowds of citizens requesting new national identity cards could be seen lined up in the courtyard of the 10th District Public Security Station in the Bastos neighbourhood. Guided each day by officers and men of the station as from 4:00 am, those seeking the national identity card for the first time or after the loss of the former, go through stages that involve writing their names on lists as they come, submitting their documents in the secretariat and proceeding to the identification posts where two computers integrated with cameras, electronic fingerprints and signature pads as well scanner-printers record details before a receipt is delivered. Notices outlining requirements and costs are pasted on walls to guide users.
“It takes just 10 minutes when the Internet connection is at its best. Out of 300 demands recorded daily, we issue at least 60 receipts,” stated the Head of the Police Station, Senior Superintendent of Police Ze née Fouda Isabelle. Despite the huge number of requests, she said operations were going on normally since the day after the August 9 2016 launch of the new system. Besides the cost per card that stands at FCFA 2,800, instead of FCFA 5,000 under the old system, users say the procedure is shorter and police officers more welcoming. “I am very satisfied,” Bogni Brondon Richard, a high school leaver from the West Region told Cameroon Tribune after receiving his receipt for his first ever identity card.
“We no longer do fingerprints with ink but use electronic machines instead. This new system will limit fraud,” said Fridoline Elomo Mvogo, a Yaounde resident who received a receipt for a new identity card after she lost the first. According to Senior Superintendent Ze Isabelle, challenges recorded so far include users’ ignorance of requirements and influence-peddling by some personalities for their acquaintances or “protégés” to be given preferential treatment.