General News of Friday, 2 November 2018
The Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has said the directive by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for all prospective passport applicants to apply online will marginalize some Ghanaians.
The Ministry on Thursday announced that passport forms are no longer for sale and that prospective applicants should download their passport forms via the Ministry’s website, marking a departure from the manual system.
The introduction of the PDF form is part of measures to make passport forms readily accessible to all Ghanaians, the Ministry said in a statement.
It further added that: “This completely eliminates middlemen popularly known as ‘Goro boys’ whose illegal activities have perpetuated bribery and corrupt activities in the passport acquisition processes. The PDF form will, therefore, replace the old paper-based application form.”
Dr Apaak, however, held a different view, noting that the move is discriminatory. He said: “My concern has been and remains the fact that not every member of our Ghanaian society has access to the internet, so to expect that everyone who needs a passport from across the length and breadth of this country would have to go online to apply will not be fair to those who come from deprived part of the country where we don’t have even an ICT centre, where people who want passports can go to apply or even get people to apply on their behalf.”
He, therefore, charged the Ministry to run the manual acquisition of the passport forms side-by-side the online process.