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Cameroon’s new biometric ID system to issue cards within 48 hours with increased fee

Cameroon’s new biometric ID system to issue cards within 48 hours with increased fee

In the next few months, a new generation ID card production facility, which will be as expedient as the country’s passport issuance system, will go operational in Cameroon.

This is according to the Delegate General for National Security (DGSN), Martin Mbarga Nguele, who made the announcement in Douala recently as he commissioned a modern biometric passport production center in the economic capital. The DGSN is the ID-issuing authority.

The announcement by Mbarga Nguele has been greeted with renewed hope among citizens as the issuance of ID cards has been a perennial headache in the country for the past couple of years.

“In the coming months, a new partner will invest in the construction of three centres for the production of national ID cards. Enrolment centers will also be constructed in all the ten regional capitals of the country. The number of national ID card registration centers will also be doubled across the national territory, from the current 280 to 548,” said Mbarga Nguele.

“Modern enrolment centers with at least 15 biometric capture desks will be built in all the regional capitals. More than 700 fixed and 300 mobile kits will be installed in all the identification offices,” he explained, adding that the heavy investment envisaged by the government will have a “reasonable and justified impact on the cost of the national ID card.”

With the current system, the official amount payable at the identification office for an ID card is XAF 2,800 (US$4.50).

The contractor for the project has not been named and the exact date for launching the project is also not stated.

New passport center to handle 600 passport requests daily

Meanwhile, speaking about the new passport production center, the Police boss said it is part of the implementation of the Head of State’s vision in ensuring that Cameroonians obtain the travel document in an expedient, safe and secure manner.

He said with the new facility, there will no longer be room for the many fraudulent activities and bottlenecks that characterized the process of issuing passports in the past.

The center will handle over 600 requests daily, officials say

The Douala biometric passport center is the second in the country after the first one which went operational in Yaounde in July 2021. It was inaugurated on August 25, 2022. A third center is expected in the northern city of Garoua.

The contract is held by a collaboration between German firm Augentic and Portuguese state printer, INCM.

The assurances of the imminent rollout of a new national ID card system come just months after the Prime Minister, Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute, addressed the teething problem of delayed issuance in Parliament.

The inauguration of the passport facility in Douala comes just weeks after a facial recognition surveillance system was launched in the city.

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