Cameroon has launched its new national passport production centre in Yaoundé. The center will produce biometric passports in 48 hours after the online registration of the applicant.
The first 80 passports were issued this Friday by the Cameroonian police chief, to the great cheer of some applicants who hitherto had to wait between 6 months and 2 years.
"The passports of applicants are produced in 48 hours at the earliest and packed for transport to the enrolment posts of those concerned" Martin Mbarga Nguelé, Director of the Cameroon Police said.
The cost of these new passports has however been increased from CFAF 75,000 to CFAF 110,000. That is 116 euros to 170 euros-
The over 40 percent increase now makes it one of the most expensive passports in Africa. The increase, authroities say is justified by the speed and quality of the passport.
The Cameroonian passport currently ranks on the 91st place according to the Guide Passport Ranking Index. It provides visa-free access to only 49 destinations across the world.
For Stanley Ndoumbé, this is not the issue. The applicant is delighted about this new center. "Everything went well" he said. "I was only here yesterday, and today I received the message to come and get my passport, and now I have it in my hand, so I am very happy" Ndoumbé said.
Between 1500 to 2000 passports can be produced each day at this new center. The government also said it has set up centres in each of the 10 regions of Cameroon where the passports can be collected at convenience by succesful applicants.