Every change of government in Ghana sees a change in the top management of the Passport Office. Each of these Directors try to implement measures to ease the application process but to no avail.
I have questioned myself most times if the officers are just happy seeing lot of people at their premises as something could have been done to handle the stress that applicants go through to acquire passports.
The herculean task most Ghanaians undergo before acquiring a Ghanaian passport was thought to be over when an online application system was introduced but nothing has changed as it is still an avenue for bureaucratic procedures and middlemen to ply their trade.
With the introduction of the online process earlier this year by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, it was expected to lessened the hurdles experienced by applicants when they apply for passports.
Everyone who visits the facility has a story to share. The solutions to some of the problems facing the Passport Office do not require money but just the use of common sense.
I do not understand why applicants are told to come for their passports in 2 to 4 weeks time knowing very well that it would take more than two months? This is the major problem of the office and requires no money to solve. There should be an extended time of collection of passport. Period.
The center is always flooded with many people who are checking on the status of their passports. What is the need for an online application system if status could not be tracked online? I wonder how much money went into the creation of the online portal.
A courier service should be contracted to deliver passports to applicants. This would take away the nuisance caused by the uncontrolled crowd waiting to pick up their passports. May be someone in there is waiting to set up a courier company in order to take up the contract himself.
If we do not have money to replace the machines that break down frequently, we should be able to use our common senses to reduce the hurdles one jumps to obtain a passport.