The Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia says government would provide the necessary support to facilitate the ease of passport acquisition in the country.
In furtherance of this, all regions across the country would be adequately resourced to deliver online passport procedure to all prospective applicants.
Currently, the country has just one online processing centre, located in Accra which was opened in November, last year.
The Vice-President made these commitments when he paid an unannounced visit to the passport office at the old Foreign Affairs Ministry in Accra yesterday.
He was livid to learn that people have had to queue as early as 2 a.m. just to acquire a passport.
After the tour of the office, he emphasised the need for a paradigm shift from the current manual application process to an online platform which would eliminate the long queues associated with it.
“We need to move from the manual to an online processing of passport and we need to also make sure that every region has that capability to do the online process in every region so that we abandon the manual and move to online and you can then have much quicker delivery of passports across the country,” he stated.
The Vice-President took the opportunity to interact with some applicants who were sitting under tents on the compound awaiting their turn to submit their application forms.
Some of the applicants, who spoke to The Finder, complained about the slow pace of the process and the hours they have had to spend at the facility to submit their application forms.
“I have been here for the past five hours or more and it doesn’t seem I would be attended to anytime soon,” one prospective applicant lamented.
The Vice-President was of a strong believe after his interactions that people must not go through that much hustle to acquire passports.
“People are suffering too much just to get a passport but the good news is that the Foreign Minister is very much on top this issue, the Directors are very much thinking about the changes that we want to bring on board,” he assured.
Samuel Ofosu Boateng, Deputy Director of Passport, Accra Regional Office, in his interaction with the Vice-President, outlined measures his outfit has put in place to address some of the bottlenecks that is associated with passport acquisition in the country.
He mentioned, for example, that his outfit had put in measures to weed out the middle-men popularly called ‘goro boys’ in the passport acquisition process.
He explained that as a measure to help identify ‘goro boys’ from staff of the passport office, all staff have been given identification tags.
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