He was at the office to assess at first-hand operations at one of Ghana’s busiest agencies.
Dr. Bawumia took the time to interact with some applicants at the office to learn about their challenges and promised that government would work to address all their concerns. He also interacted with staff at the office.
Passport acquisition in Ghana in spite of various interventions is still cumbersome, with applicants waiting for months before acquiring passports after submitting their applications.
The Vice President also interacted with the Deputy Director of Passport, Accra regional office, Samuel Ofosu Boateng.
Dr. Bawumiah noted the challenges regarding passport acquisition in the country, and indicated the need for the manual processing system to be abolished, and an online system adopted to speed up processing of passports.
“I’ve listened to the views here and it is very clear that we have to move from the manual processing to the online processing of passports. And we also have to make sure that every region has the capability to do the online processing so that we abandon the manual processing, move to online and we can then have much quicker delivery of passports across the region.”
“People are suffering too much just to get a passport, but the good news is that, the foreign minister is very much on top of this issue, the directors here are very much thinking about the changes we want to bring on board. Some of these changes are already beginning.”
The Vice President added that, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and the passports office, had been given the responsibility to ensure that passport processing is decentralized.
“We only have one processing centre in Ghana, but if we are able to do so across all the 10 regions, we believe that people will have their passports much quicker, and I think this is what we are going to hold them responsible for, and also provide the resources that are needed to allow the extension of these services across the country. I think people should not suffer this much just to get a passport. We’ll have to change that.”
The Vice President has in the last few months paid surprise visits to some state departments and agencies including the Registrar General’s Department, Public Procurement Authority, and the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority.