The Northern Region is the latest to get an ultramodern Premium Passport Application Centre after the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, commissioned the Upper West Regional Passport Application Centre in Wa last Tuesday.
The commissioning on Wednesday, comes barely a week after the Ministry through Deputy Minister Charles Oweridu, opened the Central Regional Passport Application Centre (PAC) in Cape Coast last week Friday. It brings to fourteen (14), the number of passport application centres in the country.
According to the Ministry, the opening of the passport offices in the various regions, form part of President Akufo-Addo government’s efforts and policy of expanding the scope of passport operations in the country and bringing such vital public service to the door-step of Ghanaians.
Speaking at the commissioning event, a Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muhammed Habiba Tijani, who represented the Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, said “Indeed, the facility we are commissioning today is the third Premium PAC to be opened by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and in collaboration with private sector after the Accra and Kumasi Premium Centres”.
He went on “The objective is to leverage digital world order of technology to augment our obligation of issuance of passports to the good people of our dear country.”
“As part of the process to expand the digital space and to continue to innovate in a fast changing and dynamic world as well as to address the challenges, the ministry has adopted and operationalized government’s digitization policy by automating the process of acquiring passports through the online passport application system”.
Alhaji Habibu Tijani, said “preparations are underway for the establishment of additional PAC in the Upper East Regional capital, Bolgatanga as well as the six (6) newly created regions, to be fully functional by the end of the year 2021.”
The online passport application system is an appointment-based system for the attainment of the three-pronged objectives of convenience, accessibility and reliability in the processing and acquisition of passports.
It is also expected that the establishment of the Premium Passport Application Centre in Tamale and the many other regions would create business opportunities in the supply chain where indigenes, residents and well-meaning Ghanaians, can take advantage and set up their own small businesses.
Present at the event was the Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed the Tamale Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Iddirisu Musah Superior, as well as Regional Security Commanders and Heads and Staff of Allied Institutions.
Meanwhile, at the opening of the Upper West Centre in Wa, the Deputy Minister mentioned that the multi-purpose office building will serve as a permanent office for central operations and a production hub where regional application centres will be served.
According to him, “the ultimate goal, in this endeavour, is to roll out online passport application platforms in all regional capitals across the country. In line with the Government’s commitment to ensuring that the broad objectives of the passport office are efficiently achieved, the commissioning of this office building, therefore, marks a significant milestone”.
He stressed that the introduction of these interventions have eliminated the challenge of overcrowding at PACS, improper completion of forms, document fraud and interference of middlemen popularly known as ‘goro boys’.
Added that “residents of this region will have the privilege of conveniently applying for passports without travelling to neighbouring regional centres for the processing of their applications, it is also envisaged that the establishment of this Passport Application Centre in Wa would create business opportunities in the supply chain where indigenes, residents and well-meaning Ghanaians can take advantage and set up their own small businesses”.
Earlier this month, President Akufo-Addo commissioned an ultra modern passport head office at Ridge in Accra.