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The matter of  uncollected passports
The matter of uncollected passports

The matter of uncollected passports

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration last week announced that more than 30,000 uncollected passports are gathering dust at the various passport application centres across the country.

At the Accra and the Kumasi Passport Application centres (PACs) alone, 30,000 passports, processed and issued in the names of individuals, are yet to be collected by the holders.

That was in spite of text messages sent to the owners of the passports alerting them to visit the PACs for collection, according to the ministry.

It has, therefore, called on applicants who applied for passports over the past years to collect them from their respective PACs.

The Daily Graphic supports the call by the ministry to applicants to collect their passports as soon as possible.

We find the non-collection of passports worrying, in view of the fact that it costs far more to print passports than the fees charged individuals who need the passports.

For us, the refusal by applicants to collect their passports from the designated points must not be treated lightly.

The paper would want to push for some punitive action by way of penalties levied on the recalcitrant applicants to serve as a warning to them and all those who intend doing same.

This practice must not be treated with kid gloves because of the financial impact on the economy, particularly at a time when every pesewa counts.

We are aware that the ministry has asked individuals awaiting the issuance of their passports to call its Client Service Unit to confirm the status of their passports.

This is refreshing, but these applicants must be urged to pick the passports once they are ready.

The paper finds it refreshing that passport issuance in the country has seen significant improvement in recent years.

The government, we are told, has made the process more efficient and streamlined, making it easier for citizens to obtain the necessary documents.

This is especially important for those living in rural areas, who often face greater difficulty accessing government services.

The paper has also learnt that the government has implemented a number of measures to simplify the passport application process.

For instance, the introduction of e-passports has enabled citizens to apply for their documents online, negating the need to visit a physical office.

This has made passport acquisition easier and much more convenient and accessible.

Additionally, the government has increased the number of PACs throughout the country, providing citizens with more options.

By way of security, the government has taken steps to ensure the safety and security of Ghanaian passport holders.

The introduction of biometric passports has greatly enhanced security, making it more difficult for individuals to forge or tamper with their documents.

Aside from that, it has also implemented an enhanced vetting process for passport applicants, requiring them to provide additional documents such as the Ghana Card.

The government has also invested in technology, making it easier and safer for citizens to acquire passports.

This is an important step towards promoting economic growth and development in Ghana.

These developments are commendable and have helped in no small way to make passport application less cumbersome for citizens, without compromising the integrity of the document.

It is against this background that we find the actions and inaction of applicants who are yet to collect their passports from the various PACs across the country most unfortunate.

To this end, we urge all the applicants who are yet to collect their passports to do so without further delay to help make the investment by the government worthwhile.

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