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86,000 unclaimed passports pose a financial strain on government – Osafo-Maafo

Ghana Passport

Senior Presidential Advisor on Public Sector Reforms revealed at a press briefing in Accra on Wednesday, June 19, that 86,000 passports remain uncollected at passport application centres across the country. Yaw Osafo-Marfo gave a breakdown highlighting the distribution of these unclaimed passports, with the Greater Accra Region accounting for 19,500, Cape Coast for 8,696, and Takoradi for 8,000 as of June 2024.

Expressing deep concern over the significant number of abandoned passports, Osafo-Marfo emphasised the financial strain this negligence imposes on the government. He explained that while the government subsidizes passport production costs to around four dollars per passport, the actual production cost is approximately $100 each.

“People are so anxious and do everything they can to get a passport. After we’ve gone through to produce the passports, they don’t come to collect,” lamented Osafo-Marfo. He underscored the financial implications, describing the situation as a locking up of government capital due to uncollected, subsidised passports.

In response to this predicament, Osafo-Marfo called for an investigation into why individuals fail to collect their passports after issuance. He urged authorities and researchers to delve into the root causes to address the underlying issues effectively. Paul Kwaw Kudjo, Director of the Passport Office, also cautioned the public against using middlemen to secure passports.

He encouraged applicants facing challenges to directly approach the Ministry of Foreign Affairs client service unit or passport application centres for assistance. “The problem of the Ghanaian is trying to use another person. This is not about whether you are educated or not,” asserted Mr. Kwaw Kudjo. “Go to the right source and seek the right information and support.”

The backlog of uncollected passports highlights inefficiencies and challenges within the passport acquisition process, despite efforts to improve public service delivery.

Source: Myjoyonline.com

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