Officials concerned as 86,000 Passports remain uncollected

The Passport Office has urged Ghanaians to collect their passports from its various offices. The authority reveals that about 86,000 printed passport booklets are gathering dust in offices nationwide due to applicants failing to collect them.

In an interview with Channel One News, a Director at the Passport Office Headquarters, Paul Cudjoe, expressed concern over this situation.

He indicated that the Passport Office’s responsibility ends once the passport is printed, and it is the applicant’s responsibility to collect it.

“The duty of the passport office ends when the passport is printed and now that we have decentralised the passport office and we have a regional passport office, we will transport it from the headquarters to the regional office. So the regional passport office as we call them PAC, where you go and take your bio data that is where you go and collect your passport.

“So, it is incumbent on the applicant to go and collect the passport after it has been printed. So we don’t know why people will rush go through all the process, capture your biodata, fill the form, and then it is ready and you will not come back and pick it.”

He noted that despite alerting applicants throughout the process via text messages or emails, many still do not collect their passports.

“Every step of the way the applicant receives a text message about where the application has reached. To the point that even if it is suspended, you will be alerted to come to the headquarters for the issue to be resolved” he mentioned.

Mr Cudjoe also indicated that the use of middlemen to acquire passports complicates tracking applicants due to incorrect data provided.

“Most of our patrons use middlemen to acquire the passport. The telephone numbers they use are conjured. They are not the correct telephone numbers. Some give you addresses that are non-existent because they are operated by middlemen. So even if you want to use a courier service to distribute you won’t be able to locate the applicants.’

Additionally, he emphasised that expired passports require renewal and must be collected to avoid application failures.

Meanwhile, to address this issue, the passport office is embarking on a nationwide media sensitisation campaign to raise awareness.

“We are doing nationwide media engagement, we started with Cape Coast, Takoradi, Sunyani, Ho and other parts of the country. So we hope to discuss this very issue during the media sensitisation. It is one of our focus”.

source: city newsroom

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