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"86,000 passports remain uncollected by public" - Yaw Osafo-Marfo

Senior Presidential Advisor, Yaw Osafo-Marfo has voiced his concern over the alarming number of uncollected passports in Ghana.

Speaking to journalists in Accra on Wednesday, Mr. Osafo-Marfo revealed that approximately 86,000 passports remain unclaimed by the public.

Mr. Osafo-Marfo highlighted the significant improvements made by the Department of Passport Services (DPS) in recent years, despite facing challenges such as limited capacity in printing and outdated machinery.

He disclosed that about 8,696 passports are sitting in the Cape Coast office uncollected likewise 19,500 in the Accra office.

To address these issues, the government has supplied new IT equipment to the DPS, enabling them to print passports in-house and enhancing overall efficiency.

"The DPS has 33 operational offices across the country, all of which have been equipped with the relevant electronic equipment to streamline the passport printing process," Osafo-Marfo stated.

"As a result, the time required for registration has been reduced from six hours to under two hours."

He further noted that the production capacity of the DPS has seen a substantial increase, from 700 passports per day before the COVID-19 pandemic to 2,500 per day currently.

This boost in productivity has allowed the DPS to significantly reduce their backlog of unprinted passports from 76,000 to 8,000.

In addition to passport services, the DPS has made strides in improving the birth and death registries.

The department has produced around 1.2 million birth and death certificates for newborn babies, a significant improvement from previous periods when the registries operated under constrained schemes.

"Passports are critical documents, and it is essential for citizens to collect them once they are ready," Osafo-Marfo emphasized.

"We have implemented systems to capture bio-data effectively and have supported the DPS in enhancing their in-house management capabilities."

Mr. Osafo-Marfo urged the public to promptly collect their passports to ensure that the government's efforts in improving these services are not in vain.

The enhanced systems and equipment are in place to provide efficient and timely passport services, and the public's cooperation is necessary to fully realize these benefits.

Story by: Joshua Kwabena Smith



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