Government is to procure more passport printing machines as part of measures by the Foreign Affairs Ministry to speed up the processes of acquiring passport in the country, the sector Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has said.
Ghana currently has two passport printing machines serving the over 27 million people at a centralized passport office in Accra.
Each of the two machines has the capacity to print about 500 passports daily.
Officials at the Passport Office in Accra said they serve only 100 people per day; something that causes applicants to show up at the office as early as 2:00am daily to queue to be served.
Speaking during unannounced visits to the Regional Passport Office in Accra and the Passport Directorate, Ms. Ayorkor Botchwey promised to reorganize the passport acquisition processes in the country to ensure that laid down procedures and timelines for obtaining passports are adhered to.
After experiencing the various stages of passport acquisition, which she described as cumbersome and unacceptable, the minister promised to ensure that the decentralization process of passport acquisition would be intensified.
Consequently, she said more passport offices will be opened across the country starting from Cape Coast in the Central Region.
She was not happy that people had go to the passport office as early as 2:00am to go through the acquisition processes.
Mrs. Botwey has urged passport applicants to patronize the online passport application process.
Meanwhile, it emerged during the Minister’s visit that about 60,000 processed passports have remained uncollected by their owners.
The Minister thus appealed to the public to take steps to claim their passports to clear the shelves of the Passport directorate.