Ghana Foreign Minister condemns uncanny procedure in Passport Office
…..Says Ghanians pay over GH¢3000 to acquire a passport.
Following the recent discovering of illegal activities in the passport ministry, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has threatened to sacked some staff at the Passport Office engaging in corruption.
Botchway, stated this on Monday, August 14, while on a visit to the passport office, condemned the uncanny procedures that applicants are facing due to the actions of certain personnel within the office.
Addressing newsmen after a surprise visit to the Passport Office, Botchwey said it’s unacceptable for Ghanaians to pay over GH¢3000 to acquire a passport.
This, the Minister has directed overstaying security officials who have been seconded to the Passport Office to refrain from reporting for duty beginning Monday, August 21, 2023.
“We have always said that no agency should keep their staff here for more than a year and yet this is overlooked sometimes. And so, I intend to ensure that this is carried out to the letter,” she explained.
During an interview, she emphasized that a comprehensive investigation has been initiated to address the prevailing situation.
“We are investigating and we have some leads which we are dealing with and very soon we will be able to have some firm information that we will deal with. It is so wrong,” she added.
The Minister lamented that the current efforts to streamline operations at the Passport Office through digitisation have been hindered by specific civil servants who manipulate the online application system for their personal gain.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
She further urged Passport Office staff to refrain from engaging in extortion and unethical conduct.
The Minister encouraged them to uphold professional standards, maintain a high level of work ethics, and treat applicants with the respect they deserve.
She warned that those found responsible will face legal action as a deterrent to others.
The Minister stressed that these external actors cannot operate in isolation but rather necessitate collaboration with certain individuals within the Passport Office.