The new Biometric Passport system recently set up by the government to enable Cameroonians produce their passports faster and at their convenience is already recording more question marks than many had expected.
Added to a list of concerns, users say the system has not made it possible for citizens with an ID Card receipt (Carton) to produce the passport.
Amongst a host of other complaints, one said a worker at the emigration office where she was directed to solve her problem asked her to give her the sum of 10,000FCFA, in addition to the normal 110,000 FCFA that is now charged, for her problem to be resolved.
Read her complaint below:
“I have a photocopy of my old ID which expired since 2018. I did a new ID but till date the original is not available yet. So what l have now is the ‘carton ID'”.
I have tried doing the online passport registration but when I get to the step which requires the ID card information, there are two options; old ID or new ID. When I take new ID, I am requested to fill a 17 digit number which is not on the carton ID.
When I rather choose the old ID option, I am requested to fill a 9 digit number which corresponds to the ID number on the old ID card.
The problem with option two comes in at the level of expiration date. The system does not accept an already due expiration date as is in the old card which expired since 2018.
I called the number 1500 and they asked me to go to the immigration office in any regional head quarter. When I presented my case at the emigration office, they unfortunately made me to understand that so far they have not done physical registration for any body in the new online passport so they can not tell me exactly on what to do…
The worst part of my frustration is that one of the workers in the emigration office later told me that if I really wanted my problem to be solved, then I needed to give him 10,000 FRS in addition to the official 110,000FRS and be compelled to do subsequently do the physical registration in Douala.
I am really confused on what to do because I thought it was said that the online passport registration can be done with a carton ID or at least a photocopy of the expired old ID card”.
With the new system, many had raised worries over why government was giving priority to passports over national ID cards whereas the later remains a prerequisite to obtain the passport.