Developing Events: Cameroon to set up over 500 new ID card enrollment centers in push to cut issuance delays…
Overwhelmed with complaints of national ID card issuance delays in Cameroon, the government is multiplying measures to reduce the swelling backlog.
The latest in a series of such measures is the announcement of a plan to create 543 new national ID card enrollment posts in all the ten regions of the country.
This is according to a correspondence signed recently by Decentralisation and Local Development Minister Georges Elanga Obam, who disclosed that the President of the Republic Paul Biya has okayed the plan.
Obam says many of the ID card posts will be set up within the premises of local councils, which is a novelty. He called on council authorities to create office space in their respective council buildings in preparation for the process.
At the moment, ID card enrollment centers are lodged mostly in police stations, which are not found in all rural communities of the country. Councils on the other hand are found in even the remotest areas of the country and are the closest government service entities to people at the grassroots. Cameroon has 360 local councils headed by mayors.
Government says setting up ID card enrollment posts in local councils is part of its decentralization push which aims at bringing essential services closer to citizens in all corners of the country, which is constitutionally a decentralized unitary state.
Reactions to this development have been mixed, but some citizens say it’s a welcome idea likely to facilitate the procurement of national digital ID cards, which have become a scarce commodity over the years.
Some mayors, especially those in difficult-to-reach councils, have hailed the move, saying once operational, it will reduce the sufferings of their people who often make long journeys with high financial costs to be able to obtain national ID cards.
Prime Minister Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute told lawmakers recently in Parliament that plans are far advanced for putting in place an entirely new system for the production of new generation ID cards in Cameroon.