Era of manual passport applications must end – Bawumia

Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia has tasked the authorities at the passport office to speed up the process that will eventually lead to online applications, to make it more consumer-friendly in order to allow more Ghanaians to acquire passports.   “We also need to make sure that every region has that capability to do the online processing so that we abandon the manual to online, so that we can have much quicker delivery of passports across the country,’’ Dr Bawumia added  when he paid unannounced visit to the passport office yesterday.

The Vice President bemoaned the numerous complaints from Ghanaians with regards to the activities of the passport office.

“There have been so many complaints.  The Minister of Foreign Affairs has really taken this thing up and informed me about the changes she wants to bring about. I took it upon myself to come here to see things for myself and what I am seeing suggests that we need a lot of improvement here,” he stated.

He disclosed that with just one online processing centre for the country, there was the need to have more of such centres across the country. According to Dr Bawumia, the government will provide the resources that would help the centres deliver their work on time.

He continued, “People have been waiting since 2: am last night just to submit a form and all of that, and so we need to improve the system.

I have talked to the boss here and it is very clear that we need to move from the manual processing to an online processing of passports. And we also need to make sure that every region has that capability to do the

nline processing so that we abandon the manual move to online and you can then have much quicker delivery of passports across the country.”

On the issue of people who serve as middle men for passport applicants, popularly called “goro” boys, an official of the institution explained that not all those loitering on the compound are “goro boys” “It is not everybody that you saw is an applicant, and not everyone is a staff. There are people that come in for various reasons.

In fact, until last week you would have seen a double of the number you see here but then we decided to get them out,” he said.the police service to check the activities of the “goro boys.”

He said the passport office had to bring in the SWAT of “The other thing we also did to identify ourselves so we have tags that each staff will wear,” he told the veep.

Asked what if the “goro boys” entered the premises of the institution pretending to be applicants, he assured Dr Bawumia that they had put certain measures in place to check such instances, stressing that any staff caught aiding any of the “goro boys” would be withdrawn and sanctioned appropriately.

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