President Akufo-Addo has commissioned an ultra-modern passport office on to facilitate access and acquisition of passports.
The plush infrastructure which is located at Ridge near the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) and the British High Commission is a three level purpose-built edifice, with ancillary facilities such as a meeting room, cafeteria for staff and a well-structured record and archival room among others.
In a brief speech, President Akufo-Addo commended the Foreign Affairs and Regional Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, for her contribution towards the construction and completion of the edifice.
President Akufo Addo was impressed with the work of the Minister in ensuring the transformation of the operations of the office under the Ministry and bringing to bare innovative ways in acquiring passports.
He therefore urged officials of the Passport Head Office to always maintain the facility and also ensure an efficient passport administration system.
Speaking at the event, Madam Ayorkor Botchwey, said the commissioning of the office is as a result of critical reforms and interventions taken by the Akufo-Addo government to significantly transform the operations of the Passport Office.
This according to her has helped eliminate business of middlemen notoriously known as goro boys, who until recently paraded at the environs of the Office searching for desperate applicants to do business with by charging them exorbitant fees.
“We have successfully implemented the online passport application system, thereby phasing out the manual application system, which hitherto was the norm.
The acquisition of passports has been made easy and brought to the doorsteps of Ghanaians, following the establishment of Passport Application Centres in some regional capitals namely Kumasi, Tamale, Koforidua, Tema Hope, Takoradi and Sunyani, as well as Premium Passport Application Centres (PACs) in Accra and Kumasi to provide expedited services.
There are also processes in place to renovate all existing regional Passport Application Centres, to give them a facelift and improve service delivery.
Two other PACs will soon be commissioned in Central Regional capital Cape Coast and Wa in the Upper West Region. The two events which will be held in the coming days, will also include a new Premium Centre in Tamale.
Already, the Ministry has extended biometric passport services to Ghana’s Diplomatic Missions abroad and so a total of 22 of such Missions will commence the issuance of biometric passports by the second quarter of next year, 2021.
Story: Henry George Martinson@radiogoldlive.com