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General News of Monday, 27 August 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

‘Frustrated’ passport applicants went through ‘gorro boys’ – Passports Director

The Director of Passports, Amanor Daku Mante, has said that persons who are lamenting over the delay in acquiring their passports after applying several months earlier, applied through unauthorized middlemen popularly called ‘gorro boys’.

According to him, persons who applied through the normal process duly receive their passports.

Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday, Mr. Daku Mante said some applicants suffered a delay in the issuance of the passports because they filled their forms with wrong information.

“People apply through the ‘gorro people’ and these people will never tell them the truth. Normally, when you apply through the express which will cost you about GH¢ 100 cedis and the normal which will cost GH¢ 50 cedis, you should get your passport. People [can] go through the normal process, [but] they rather prefer to do it through the ‘gorro people’ [and] that is where they get their frustration. People don’t even fill their forms rightly,” he said.

Many listeners of the Citi Breakfast Show on Monday expressed their varied experiences of frustration in acquiring a passport in the country.

Some explained that they had been chasing their passports after applying more than a year ago and have missed various opportunities because of the delay.

Others lamented that the government’s supposed online portal for passport application was dysfunctional, although they had paid the required amounts to the bank to enable them to complete the online application.

Many other contributors to the Show said they acquired their passports early enough when they paid between GHS 500 and GHS1000 to middlemen to help them process their application.

Passport acquisition in Ghana

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has given indications that it intends to make the process of passport acquisition in Ghana easy and efficient, a departure from what can best be described as one of the most frustrating processes to go through in the country.

Despite promises by successive governments to improve the process, many Ghanaians are forced to pay bribes, pay exorbitant charges through middlemen popularly known as ‘gorro boys’ or queue as early as 3:00am each day to have their passport applications processed especially at the Accra application center.

The forms for regular application currently goes for GHS 50, and are expected to be processed within 4 weeks, while the forms for express applications are being sold for GHS 100, and are expected to be processed within 2 weeks, although the duration may slightly vary.