Decentralize Passport Acquisition! – Dumelo Tells Ayorkor Botchwey

Source The Ghana Report

NDC parliamentary aspirant for Ayawaso West Wuogon, John Dumelo, has urged the government to establish passport acquisition centres in all regions of the country.

The Passport Office has transitioned from the traditional paper-based application to a digital system and opened additional offices at Tema and the  Accra Digital Centre to ease difficulties during applications.

However, the effort has not eradicated middlemen, known as ‘goro boys’ who fleece passport applicants.

Loads of backlog have also been reported at some centres, so the common long queues have not been eradicated completely.

Consequently, Mr Dumelo believes it is time for every region to have a passport application centre since passports are national documents essential to every citizen.

“Why don’t you print in Cape Caost, Kumasi and North so that you don’t have to go through these processes?” he questioned during an interview monitored by The Ghana Report on TV3.

His comments follow an ambush visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey to the Passport Office in Accra on August 14, asking all overstayed office holders to evacuate and for all ‘goro boys’ charging between GH₵2000 and GH₵3000 for a passport instead of GH₵100, and GH₵150 to desist from the unlawful act.

“When I say illegal activities, we all know. Just two days ago, the reports in the Daily Guide newspaper showed that the issue of ‘goro’ people involved in our passport acquisition process has become rife.” Ms Ayorkor Botchwey complained.

“It is wrong. How can One Hundred Ghana Cedis for standard service to acquire a passport and One Hundred and Fifty Cedis for expedited service be pumped up to GH₵2000 and GH₵3000? It is wrong,” She pointed out in anger.

“The ‘goro boys’ are outside the Passport Office. They need somebody inside to work with. They cannot do it on their own. People are paying GH₵2000 or GH₵3000 to acquire a passport? Why should this be so?” she quizzed while addressing the media on her unannounced visit to the Passport Office in Accra.

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