As 300,000 booklets expected to arrive in the next 10 days
Over 90,000 passport applicants are yet to receive their passports after applying several months ago.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, blamed the backlog on global supply chain disruptions being experienced by all importers worldwide.
She made the disclosure after an unannounced working visit to the Greater Accra Passport Application Centre (PAC) near Tema Station, Accra and the Passport Head Office, Ridge.
According to her, global supply chain disruptions being experienced by all importers worldwide accounts for the inability of Ghana’s supplier of passport booklets to meet the country’s demands.
She explained that her Ministry will take delivery of over 300,000 booklets in the next 10 days to clear the backlog.
“We normally would order our booklets in advance. When we get to a certain level of supply, we order the next batch of booklets. Unfortunately, because of COVID and the supply chain issues that have occurred as a result, we are having difficulties with our booklets coming in.
“As we speak, we have booklets in stock, but the booklets that we have in stock are less than demand. Fortunately, we will receive booklets around the 13th of this month, way more than what is in backlog.” Madam Botchwey said.
“We are expecting over 300,000 this month. I believe the backlog is about 90,000, we have some in stock to take care of emergencies and expedited service and so on,” she added.
Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, says the country will in the next seven months transition from the current biometric to chip embedded passports.
She said the chip embedded passport is being issued by most sovereign states because of its high security features.
“It is good (biometric), but it has its limitations. The chip embedded passport has more security features and therefore, it will reduce the ‘non-Ghanaians,’ so to speak, who are able to get our passports and it will be linked directly to the national identification (system which is being compiled).” Madam Botchwey said.
She said the contract had been awarded to a wholly Ghanaian-owned company which would commence within the timelines set.