“A passport in Equatorial Guinea costs just 9,000 francs, and if you need it urgently, it's 20,000 francs. In Ethiopia, a passport costs 6,000 francs, whereas, in Cameroon, a passport costs 110,000 francs. Where did Cameroonians go wrong?”
A Cameroonian who has spoken with MMI is shocked at the high cost of making passports, national identification cards, and attaining education in the country, when compared with other African countries.
After experiencing life in Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, and other countries, he regrets that Cameroonians are spending way too much to acquire basic documents and education, things that are almost cost-free in other countries.
“How can one explain that achieving an ID card in Cameroon is a nightmare, not only so, but rather too expensive – 25,000frs for an ordinary ID card that costs just 2,000frs in Equatorial Guinea, 45 Ethiopian Birr, which is about 500frs,” he lamented.
“A passport in Equatorial Guinea costs just 9,000frs and if u need it urgently it’s at 20,000frs. And in Ethiopia, a passport is at 6,000frs compared to Cameroon where a passport is 110,000frs. Where did Cameroonians go wrong?” he further lamented.
Concerning education, he said Cameroonians still spend too much when compared with other African countries he has lived in.
“Cameroon needs change. I make all these analyses with respect to countries I have lived in, even the educational sector in Cameroon is very alarming. Education is completely free in Ethiopia and Equatorial Guinea. University students pay 8,000frs per year in Equatorial Guinea. While in Ethiopia from kids school to college, nothing is paid,” he said.
These concerns are coming at a time Cameroonians have been groaning with the high cost of living, marked by increased prices of foodstuffs and basic commodities and a rise in fuel prices.
On March 21, the government raised the minimum wage from 36,000 francs to 41,875 for State employees, 45,000 for workers in the agricultural sector, and 60,000 for workers in other sectors.
But given the skyrocketed cost of living and employers’ unwillingness to abide by the minimum wage limit, millions of Cameroonians are still struggling to make ends meet.
Many say President Paul Biya’s 40-year rule has left very little to be admired in terms of development and the general well-being of Cameroonians.
“Sometimes I wonder the kind of captivity that the so-called leaders of this country have bundled an entire nation into,” said a Cameroonian who is living the country’s harsh daily realities.