General News of Saturday, 10 March 2018
Ghanaians waiting to receive their passports can now heave a sigh of relief as the Ridge Passport Office has resumed operations.
The facility was closed down last week due to an electrical fault which affected some printers.
Citi News’ sources, however, indicated that the printers are fully functional now.
They further indicated that the backlog from last week had been cleared and work is moving on smoothly.
About 5,000 passport applications from the Accra Passport office which had to be printed when the facility was shut down have now been cleared.
Corruption at the passports office’
A survey conducted by the Ghana Integrity initiative anti-corruption Consortium in 2017, identified the passports office as one of the few government agencies where bribery and corruption is pervasive.
The survey, which was to assess citizen’s understanding of corruption, their perceptions and actual experiences of corruption, show that Ghanaians still perceived the passports office as well as the police service, political parties and the judiciary as being corrupt.
It however revealed that Ghanaians do not regard the payment of what is commonly called facilitation fee as a form of corruption.
Passport acquisition in Ghana
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has given indications that it intends to make the process of passport acquisition in Ghana easy and efficient, a departure from what can best be described as one of the most frustrating processes to go through in the country.
Despite promises by successive governments to improve the process, many Ghanaians are forced to pay bribes, pay exorbitant charges through middlemen popularly known as ‘gorro boys’ or queue as early as 3:00am each day to have their passport applications processed especially at the Accra application center.
The forms for regular application currently goes for GHS 50, and are expected to be processed within 4 weeks, while the forms for express applications are being sold for GHS 100, and are expected to be processed within 2 weeks, although the duration may slightly vary.