What is wrong with you, Passport office?

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When people argue for the privatisation of state enterprises such as ECG, there are others who also argue against handing over every state enterprise to the private sector, yet most state institutions are giving us more reasons why they should be given to the private sector to run effectively and efficiently.

It beats my imagination the kind of work that is done at the Passport office. We were using our old Passport and we were told we are moving to Biometric passport. Some of us thought it was brilliant idea and it was even stated that there will be normal process to acquire it and it will take about one month and the express service will take somewhere one week.

Great news we thought. I actually forgot that it was Ghana they were talking about, where nothing works as planned without middlemen and corruption that goes with it.

What baffles me even more is the fact that they reduced the duration for the expiration from ten (10) years to just five (5) years. Does it really make sense to those in authority knowing the kind of country we live in? Or is it the normal way of frustrating the citizens as usual?

You apply for passport and by the time you get the passport it is almost six (6) months into expiration and most countries will not issue you a visa to visit their country if you have less than six (6) months for the passport to expire.

In effect you only have the passport for just four years and you have to start the struggle again to renew. What a waste of everything!!!

My Passport was to expire in April, 2016 and I had to apply for renewal in (16/02/2016) February, 2016. After going through all the processes I was issued with a receipt/collection slip. To my surprise the receipt with printed collection date (08/03/2016) had the printed date cancelled and instead had a handwritten one that says 12 weeks. By my calculations the 12th week fell on 10/05/2016. As if I knew it will not be ready I gave myself extra four (4) weeks making it 16 weeks before going to collect it.

I have to travel for a training programme next month and I had to fill a form with the new passport details before the due date. I turned up at the passport office only to be told that it is not ready so I should check again the following week. I went back the following week and it was still not ready so I was asked to check again on the 20th of June, 2016.

Now I have to abandon my trip because I cannot provide the passport details they are asking for. I am supposed to attend a 3 week training programme that will benefit my organisation tremendously but now my organisation has to suffer because of somebody’s ineptitude and inefficiency?. How do you live in such a country and develop when you cannot even travel as and when the need arises? What a pity!!!

When you know you are incapable of renewing an ordinary passport in 4 months, does it make sense to you to reduce the expiration period from 10 to 5 years so that more passports will expire so quickly?. Let people think about the effects of their actions before they initiate and implement policies that affect the masses.

The Director of Passport, you and your passport office are incompetent and incapable of issuing passports at such short intervals (every 5 years), therefore revert to the old ten (10) years expiration period so that you can reduce the pressure which you cannot handle and avoid depriving genuine people from acquiring passport because it is not everyone who can afford to pay bribe to get passport done for them through the connection/middle men which is ironically fastest way to acquire passports in Ghana.

If things continue to go this way, I would not be surprised to see all the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the hands of the private sector very soon. Let us sit up as a country and set aside our selfish ambitions and serve the country and the people the best way we can.

That is the only way we can develop this nation but if we continue like this then Ghana will never develop beyond what it is now.

Minister for Foreign Affairs, sit up and open your eyes and do proper supervision for this is happening under your watch.

A word to the wise…

 

By: Gordon Newlove Asamoah

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