CAMEROON:Another French Company Hired to Produce National ID Cards

Alafnet.com  has been informed that, another French company has been hired to replace Thales Security Systems in the printing and distribution of National ID cards in Cameroon. Thales Security Systems was dropped for incompetence and corruption last February.

Gemalto signed an agreement with the General Delegate for National Security Martin Mbarga Nguelle, at the police headquarters in Yaounde over the weekend.

The company is said to be a worldwide leader in the protection, verification and management of identities and digital interactions. The ID cards they will produce, according to them, will be secure and unfalsifiable.  

The company will equally be in charge of producing and distributing resident permits and refugee ID cards for refugees living in Cameroon.

In February this year, Nguelle terminated the contract of Thales Security Systems which was in charge of identification documents in Cameroon.

President Biya gave the police boss permission to terminate the contract following reports from the national security delegation that the French company was involved in several corrupt practices including embezzlement of state funds, inflation of bills, and provision of three identity documentation to some citizens.

The company had also been indicted for allegedly undertaking a fake tenancy agreement with an unnamed landlord in Mvan, Yaoundé. The Journal learnt that the owner of the house occupied the building but Thales Security Systems was billing government as though they leased it. The firm recently charged government to pay some 10billion FCFA in unpaid rents to the landlord, to cover 2013 and 2014.

Shortly after the termination of Thales Security contract, it emerged that a Spanish company was going to take over the identification job following recommendations by a former Cameroonian ambassador to Spain.

Observers hold that the diversion of the contract to a French company is part of the fruits French businesses are harvesting from the recent visit to Cameroon of Francois Hollande, French President.

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