Several Cameroonians have raised concerns regarding the difficulties faced in acquiring a passport. The crisis they say has persisted for several months now and only get worse by the day.
One of such is 30 year old Pascal (names changed) who currently lives out in the United Arab Emirates. Pascal says he spent close to a million francs months ago after his national passport expired, but has still been unable to lay hands on the documents three months later.
“I applied three months back through the consulate and waited to no avail” he says adding that he spent the sum of 200.000 FCFA, the equivalence of 339.06 UD dollars.
After waiting to no avail, he said he had to send money back home (Cameroon) so the process was followed up from Yaounde. The money he says was “to see that they fastened the passport acquisition process”, another strategy he regrets failed.
” I’m not alone, there are about 70 of us. My cousins in Russia and other countries have the same problem” he told MMI.
Apart from facing difficulties with the authorities of the United Arab Emirates, he said the current situation makes it harder for them to get work.
“I can’t change my Job because I have an expired passport. My company even takes it as an advantage for them because there is no way forward for me” he reveals.
One of his cousins he explains further is even stranded in Cameroon after returning home to renew his passport to no avail. “He has been in Yaounde for two months now” says Pascal.
“For me” he adds, “I can’t say it is an Anglophone issue, it’s just a failed state. Francophones are crying too”.
” How can cartons for the production of passports be in short supply?” Pascal questions in frustration.
“Why then do they collect the money? Why do commissioners take money from us if there is no carton?” He goes further to ask.
Like Pascal, thousands if not millions of Cameroonians home and abroad are said to be facing the same situation, making life harder for them. Despite news of the shortage of passport-producing material in the country, hundreds can still be seen daily at the different production centers across the country eagerly engaging in the application process.
While some say it is a plot crafted by the state to with old its citizens from leaving the country, others say it is another indication that the state has once more failed in providing its citizens the attention, care and respect they deserve and are calling on the powers that be to take action.