The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, is urging the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration to clear the backlog of passports as a means to deal with the illegal acquisition of the document.
The sector minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, on an unannounced visit to the passport office in Accra, lamented the activities of people referred to as “goro boys.”
Reacting to this, the North Tongu MP said that while the minister’s move is commendable, systems need to be strengthened to rectify the persistent situation.
“Sometimes we even thought that the phenomenon of goro boys was behind us. It is really regrettable that they have found their way back. So, it’s a clear matter. Let’s make sure that the backlog is dealt with then we take out the human discretion and bring in full automation because we have invested in that,” he said.
Ayorkor Botchwey on Monday lashed out at staff at the passport office for allegedly engaging in corruption-related activities that have tarnished the office’s reputation.
The minister expressed her anger over the constant extortion of money from applicants by passport workers and “goro boys and girls” to expedite their services.
Madam Botchwey said that the staff at the passport office work with a cartel of “goro boys and girls” to manipulate the system.
She stressed the importance of sanitizing the passport system and, as a result, relieved staff seconded to the office effective August 21.
She lamented the accusations that are leveled against politicians when, in fact, some public and civil servants have been engaging in corruption and corruption-related activities.
The minister indicated that an investigation is underway and that the culprits will be punished if found guilty.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey also wants all serving security service personnel stationed at the Passport Office in Accra to be sacked.
Madam Botchwey says the personnel have overstayed their duration at the Passport Office.
Speaking to journalists after a surprise visit to the Passport Office, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey said that it is unacceptable for Ghanaians to pay over GH¢3,000 to acquire a passport.