The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, yesterday inaugurated two passport application centres at Koforidua for the Eastern Region and Tema Metropolis, to make acquisition of the travel document easier for residents.
Operationalised last month, the centres are offering online application services.
This brings to 10, the number of application centres in the country including Accra (Tema Station, Ridge and Premium Centre); Kumasi; Sunyani; Takoradi, Ho and Tamale.
At separate inaugural ceremonies, Ms Botchwey said office spaces were being secured to set up centres in the capital towns of Central, Upper East and West Regions soon and eventually in the six newly created regions as well.
She noted that the setup of the centres was in fulfillment of the government’s promise to expand passport application and bring relief to applicants irrespective of their location across the country.
Now, applicants in Eastern Region, she said would be spared the inconvenience and risks of travelling to Volta Region or Accra to acquire passports.
She cautioned the public to desist from fraudulent activities which undermined the integrity of the Ghanaian passport such as the use of forged documents in their applications.
“These are punishable by law and persons found engaging in such activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law,” the Member of Parliament (MP) for Anyaa Sowutuom said.
The Eastern Regional Minister, Eric Kwakye Darfour, who is also the Member of Parliament for Nkawkaw, recounted that hitherto, residents spent nights in Accra at the mercy of the weather and unscrupulous persons, in their desire to acquire passports.
Over the last month, the minister said there had been testimonies of the relief the centre had brought and expressed appreciation on behalf of the residents.
Present at the ceremonies were Mohammad Habibu Tijani, Deputy Sector Minister, Regional Immigration Officers and respective District Chief Executives.
FROM JONATHAN DONKOR, KOFORIDUA