C/O MENSAH SARBAH HALL,
UNIVERSITY OF GHANA, LEGON.
DEAR SIR/ MADAM,
A PETITION TO DECENTRALISE EXPEDIENTLY PASSPORT ACQUISITION IN GHANA.
I humbly but vehemently add my voice to the chorus to decentralise the passport acquisition in the country (Ghana). My name is Pascal Hayford Agbesi, a student of the University of Ghana, and a Ghanaian citizen for that matter.
Passport acquisition in Ghana is a very worrying and tiring process, in this regard, I vehemently call for expedient measures to decentralise the process to the ordinary Ghanaian who may be desiring to acquire a passport of Ghana.
Permit me briefly to state some of the ordeals and difficulties I am going through to acquire a passport of Ghana. As already indicated, I am a student of the University of Ghana. I forfeited lectures for three whole days to queue up for just the photograph for the passport form. I had to wake up as early as 3:00am each day to start my journey to the passport office in the ministries from Legon. You can imagine how vulnerable I was in the early morning to all sorts of attacks from criminals who normally come to campus to rob students of their valuables.
Even at the time, the queue may be long as from the gate of the passport office to the second junction of the Department of Urban roads. You can assume therefore that some precious people, of course, Ghanaians stay through the night to the following morning just to go through the process. That is the truth, and I am much aware that the authorities are aware of the menace.
The most intriguing part of my odyssey in acquiring a passport was on the Wednesday, 06th of April, 2016. After joining the queue with over hundred and fifty (150) people already ahead of me, at about 5:10am to about 7:20am, a gentleman emerged from the office premise and told us those in the queue that, they could not attend to us because they needed to work on existing documents. You may imagine how Ghanaians were left embarrassed at the place, I personally think it is a huge disrespect to Ghanaians.
The question to ask here is that, are there no media houses in the country? I personally interacted with a gentleman who came from as far as Bibiani in the Brong Ahafo Region just to take the photograph for the passport, which as a result of the impudence of the passport authorities he could not do. Consider the risk and financial burdens that he had to go through to come to Accra for this process; it is a very appalling situation and it only leaves the country nothing good to write home about in terms of passport acquisition. I must incumbently state, despite those three days of struggling to get a passport, I still have not got a passport.
My sincere plea is that, Ghanaians deserve to and should be treated right. In any case, the passports are not free, Ghanaians pay for the service. Therefore, Ghanaians have the right to enjoy quality and convenient service from the passport office. Notwithstanding that we are Ghanaians, we know also that once you pay for a service, you must be served in your best interest and at your convenience. As clients to the passport office, we deserve better service, the service must be brought to our doorsteps.
The passport office must be decentralised to every region in the country. I would suggest that, all regions have a capital, at least, it is far better than the status quo. You will bear me out that students in the tertiary sector of education most often are required to do something very pertinent abroad towards their academic achievements. The reality is that most students are unable to because they do not have a passport, and because it takes a long time to acquire a passport in Ghana. The corollary is that, students from Ghana are not very competitive in the global world. I strongly suggest that tertiary institutions must have passport offices to serve the school, the community and its environs.
I believe that Ghanaians would be willing to even pay more if the process becomes very convenient, because it is in the human instinct to pay more for better services.
I believe firmly that this petition would receive maximum attention, and the suggestions therein would be implemented expediently, and more appropriately to alleviate the plights of Ghanaians in trying to acquire a passport of Ghana. I admonish the government and all relevant stakeholders to act quickly to address this challenge.
I must caution that, there are several lines of action I intend to implement if this petition receives no attention just like the several in your possession, and I would go as far as the laws of Ghana and International Laws stipulate.
Pascal Hayford Agbesi
Cc; The Presidency, Passport Office, Ministries, media houses, and whom it may concern.