Let passport acquisition be devoid of frustration!!

The Ministry of Affairs and Regional Integration yesterday put out a press release in which it urged applicants who had received text mes­sages to collect their printed passports to immediately go to the various Passport Application Centres (PACs) to do so.

The Ministry expressed concern that in spite of the text messages, most appli­cants had refused to collect the passports.

It said the Accra and Ku­masi PACs alone had over 30,000 uncollected pass­ports.

Meanwhile, it is said that the Ministry has 13 PACs in nine regions.

We wonder why this state of affairs as we consider the fact that a passport is one document acquired by people who need it, most of the time urgently, to travel outside the country.

Therefore, it becomes intriguing why applicants would refuse to collect the passport, a document oth­ers are dying to acquire.

This is why the whole public must interrogate the situation.

On our part, we believe that some of the appli­cants might have encoun­tered some difficulties that have made them frustrat­ed, thereby causing them to abandon the whole idea of acquiring the passport.

It is also possible that some applicants have used the backdoor or the loopholes in the system to apply afresh and acquired the passport.

Besides, a few number of the applicants could be dead.

All these scenarios still tell how frustrating it is to acquire certain important documents in the country and the victims of this system are mostly those who have no one in offi­cial circles or elsewhere to help them.

We think the status quo must change for the gen­eral public to enjoy some ease in acquiring passports and other such important documents.

The current situation rather creates opportunity for miscreants to make il­licit money at the expense of poor applicants of not only passports but also other documents like birth certificate, driver’s licence and building permit.

It is sad that the priv­ileged in the society usually get everything in a smooth way and so hardly imagine the difficulties others go through to get such documents, which difficulties can cause them to abandon the idea of acquiring them and seek other means to achieve the intended objectives.

Consider why some Ghanaian youth travel with fake documents.

From January last year, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Inte­gration kept announcing the shortage of passport booklets and so if today they are available but applicants are refusing to collect them, that should make the author­ities to find out why because the government has incurred cost to print them.

It is heart-warming that today, the Ministry is urging applicants to collect their passports.

However, we wish to in­form it that some applicants are still going through frus­trations in their attempt to acquire passports.

They still do not get the passports on their due dates and some of them have suffered postponements for a number of times.

This may also be a reason that has caused some appli­cants to lose the trust of the Passport Office and thus refused to respond to its text messages.

We hope the Passport Of­fice would streamline things to ginger the public to have confidence in it and cooper­ate with it as expected.

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