The Ghana Passport Office has offered a legitimate business opportunity for passport acquisition intermediaries, popularly known as ‘goro boys’ to enable them to desist from illegal transactions.
This was made known by the Director of Passports, Francis Danti Kotia at the commissioning ceremony of the premium passport application centre in Kumasi, capital of the Ashanti Region.
According to Mr Danti Kotia, the new digitization system will provide middlemen a platform to assist applicants in processing their online application.
The interested individuals will pay an unmentioned token fee to the passport office, set up a kiosk with an internet connection and register with the Registrar General to ensure their activities are within the laws of the country.
They will then be given the opportunity to help people who need help with their passport applications, similar to what was being done illegally.
“The premium park is not just intended to rid them [goro boys] of their activities but it is the whole idea of digitizing passport acquisition and we also anticipate that maybe this will open up business opportunities for these people to undertake the processing or completion of the online application process on behalf of people for a token fee
“This, we anticipate, will open up legitimate business opportunities for people. You open a small kiosk, you have a computer, connected to the internet, you register it with the registrar of companies, we charge a token, you make yourself well known to the passport office, they regularise your activities, and ensure that your activities are within the laws of the country so that you do not allow people who are not supposed to acquire Ghana passport to acquire passports,” Mr Danti Kotia noted.
He hopes that this new introduction will help the country ‘eliminate’ or ‘minimise’ the activities of the ‘goro’ boys and at the same time offer them alternative employment opportunities.
According to Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Regional Integration, Mohammad Habibu Tijani, setting up the premier passport office in Kumasi is expected to complement the activities of existing passport application centres and reduce the challenges faced by residents of Kumasi in applying for passports.
“Considering the large number of passport applications that are received daily at the Kumasi application centre which I have been informed are over 400 applications per day, indeed, such a huge volume of applications poses the challenge to the Kumasi public. The main aim of the premium centre is to leverage technology to enhance passport acquisition process and delivery to Ghanaians and complement the work of the existing passport application centres,” he stated at the event.