The Ghana Investment Fund for Electronic Communications (GIFEC) has equipped the Passport Office with 75 desktop computers, 75 units of Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) and 10 Scanners, all worth GH₵ 233,625.
The equipment are expected to facilitate the full digitization of the office to enhance service delivery.
Presenting the items on Tuesday, the Administrator of GIFEC, Mr Kobby Akyeampong, said although the equipment would help expedite the process of acquiring passports in the country, there was the need for the Passport Office to create a foolproof system that would ensure that applicants were guaranteed dates for the issuance of passports.
Echoing concerns by a section of the public that the passport acquisition process is too complicated and laborious, Mr Akyeampong urged the office to take practical steps to make the process simpler and more effective.
As part of efforts to sanitise the system, he called on the Passport Office to get rid of intermediaries in the passport acquisition process, popularly called ‘Goro Boys’.
According to Mr Akyeampong, Goro Boys and other passport contractors often end up duping unsuspecting application, giving the Passport Office a bad name in the process.
The GIFEC boss went on to commend the Office for its ongoing collaboration with the National Identification Authority to create a common database that could be used by all important institutions in the country.
Expressing gratitude to the GIFEC for the computers and other gadgets, the Director of Passport, Mr Alexander Grant Ntrakwa, said: “The importance of this equipment to my outfit in terms of service delivery cannot be underestimated.
"The gesture comes in at an opportune time when my outfit is speeding up efforts to clear backlogs and also implement the electronic application system.
“Hopefully the deployment of the online system of application will begin by the end of the year and this will afford us the opportunity to provide service to Ghanaians even in their respective homes.”
GIFEC is an agency of the Ministry of Communications, which is mandated with providing access to electronic services such as ICT, broadcasting, multimedia service and basic telephony to unserved and underserved communities in Ghana.