General News of Monday, 23 January 2017
The Foreign Affairs Minister-designate says the new online application system would correct the delays in passport acquisition especially with renewal for Ghanaian students and others abroad.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway said sometimes the delays are due to the mistakes on the application forms or with the documentation sent with the forms.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Anya Sowutuom told Parliament’s Appointment Committee during her vetting on Monday that the passport office is challenged when documents sent by applicants cannot be authenticated.
Answering questions on the frustrations faced by Ghanaians abroad in renewing their passport while in abroad, she said in cases where the applicants have made mistakes on the forms, it is difficult to contact the applicants and correct the mistakes in good time.
Regarding the concern of some Ghanaian students studying in Cuba who find themselves in such a situation, she explained that the delay is largely due to Ghana not having a foreign mission which issues passports in the country.
There are six missions outside Ghana which issue passports. They are the missions in Abuja in Nigeria; Johannesburg in South Africa; London in the United Kingdom (UK), New York and Washington in the USA and Berlin in Germany.
She said, unfortunately, Cuba is not among those missions so applicants have to send their forms to Ghana before they are processed and sent back to them.
The former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister believes the introduction of the online passport application system would correct and improve the situation.