The problems in passport acquisition would soon be over, following the move by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department (CAGD) to supply passport booklets.
The Passport Office had recently been hit by shortage of booklets living prospective applicants in limbo, as applicants queued at banks for the forms.
Ms Hannah Tetteh, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, has assured of an improved service delivery within a month, during which the CAGD is expected to make the booklets available.
She was responding to questions when members of the ECOWAS-Community Development Programme (ECOWAS-CDP) Media Network called on her at the ministry to officially introduce the group and to see how best they could work together.
According to the Minister, the national demand for passports had surged, and the shortage of the booklets had affected the ability of the country’s missions abroad to issue machine-readable booklets.
She said the CADG which supplied them with the booklets, had promised to make them available by next week, to expedite service delivery.
She noted that the passport booklets were value books and that value books were not issued by her outfit, but by the Controller and Accountant-General’s Department so when we make an order for booklets.
‘My information from the CAGD is that, they will have the booklets next week. I sincerely hope they do, the moment that happens, we can deliver the booklets to our missions abroad immediately the pressure on the passport office will reduce and that will make it much easier for people to get their passports on time after they have applied for them,” she said.
“If indeed we are able to get the machine-readable booklets next week as we were promised, then our service delivery should improve in about a month’.
“With the backlog that we have to deal with at the moment, it would take us about that period of time to clear it and be able to deal with applications as and when they are made and to process them as quickly as possible.
The minister indicated that the missions abroad which had run out completely of the booklets, had resorted to issuing travel certificates to persons wishing to travel back to Ghana.
The minister noted that officials were finalising the processes of online application processes and how online payment could be done especially for people who may not be able to use the online processes.
By Francis Asamoah Tuffour