Slow Pace of ID Cards Production: Police Chief Responds to ‘Online’ Protest

Recently, some Cameroonians took to different social media platforms decrying the cumbersome process of acquiring a National Identity Card. While some used the French hashtag #JeveuxmaCNI, others used the English version, #IwantmyID.

Twits from some Cameroonians

This outburst forced the Delegate General of National Security, M. Martin Mbarga Nguele to organize a Press Conference on Friday, January 8, 2021, in Yaounde.

Addressing the media on behalf of Cameroon’s police chief, the Secretary-General of the National Security General Directorate, Dominique Bayia said ID card acquisition has been somewhat slow due to a change in the country’s security system.
“Since August 9, 2016, and on the instructions of the President of the Republic, a new security system for Cameroonian nationality was put in place at the General Delegation for National Security. This followed serious failures and numerous distinctions observed in the old system put in place in 1994 which had shown all its limitations,” the police department said.

post extracted from Facebook

The release further explained the lapses of the old system. “Under the old system, individuals could obtain a national Identity card in order to commit crimes, receive the salary of a third party, or simply to be born again.”

The Delegate General for the National Security further assured the Cameroonian public that the issues affecting the country’s security system have come to an end.
“Today, the Cameroonian nationality is well secured and the various inconveniences which negatively impacted the Cameroonian economy, the security system, and the social environment have been put to an end.”

Facebook post of someone who has waited for more than a year to get his ID Card

The National Security chief added that ID cards that have been produced have unfortunately been abandoned at their various posts across the country.

“More than 245,000 national identity cards already produced have been abandoned and awaiting withdrawal by the applicants in the various identification posts. This means that despite the slowdown in production due to technical difficulties, procedures, and equipment, the public service of producing national identity cards remains very active.”

more posts carrying the hashtag

The release also stated that the production capacity for identity cards will be stepped up from 10,000 per day to 15,000.

“The General Delegation for National Security currently has 280 identification posts around the country, including 50 mobile identification posts. Its current production capacity is 10.000 national Identity cards per day. This daily production capacity will increase to 15,000 as soon as the Garoua Secondary production center goes operational.”

Acquiring an ID card usually takes three months but some persons have attested to the fact that they had to wait for more than six months to get the document. Others have said they got tired of waiting and started the process all over.

It is hoped that things change for the better given that most official transactions cannot be done with the receipts given when citizens seek the establishment of national ID cards.

By Sandrine M.

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