Ghanaians will now suffer more to obtain passports

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement announcing to Ghanaians that Passport Forms are now available online for free. The statement highlighted the NOW FREE.

In terms of the cost of obtaining passports, applicants are still required to pay Ghs50 and GHS100 for regularly and express services respectively. The only change here is that we are now getting the forms for free, and pay for the processing which was previously ‘free’.

Nothing has really changed. The Passport Office’s cost and burden of printing these Application Forms have now been pushed to applicants. So what’s the free here?

These few exchanges in the process of acquiring Ghanaian passports were expected to ease the process, do away with ‘Goro Boys’ and reduce pressure at the Passport Office. Interestingly, it’s the other way round.

In a country where only few people are able to access the internet to print forms, these ‘Goro Boys’ are still going to print and sell the application forms. As done with some visa application forms, most internet cafes are going to sell these forms also. Is it still free? Even to those who are capable visiting cafes to print themselves, it’s still not free.

Aside ‘Goro Boys’ expecting to cash in big through the selling of forms and making online payments for applicants, the who system is going to keep people waiting for days, weeks, or may be months to be able to complete their passport application process. Why so?

The website responsible for processing payments is displaying funny messages. The payment processing page is not user-friendly and this bad user-experience makes it unable for one to complete the payment process. The forms are covered with other parts of the website and links on the page return to same page when clicked.

The payment page has a very bad user-experience and one cannot even have the means to complete the forms on the page.
The payment page has a very bad user-experience and one cannot even have the means to complete the forms on the page.

The hundreds of people who are seen at the various passport offices daily are now queued online trying to make payments. They are greeted with a message telling them that something went wrong? What went wrong? lol … Very funny.

Applicants who try to make payments are greeted with this message
Applicants who try to make payments are greeted with this message

Tomorrow is Monday and the Passport Office would be idle if payment system continues to tell applicants ‘SORRY’. Applicants would have no choice than to wait at home since the press release told them that these changes have taken effect.

This is where ‘Goro Boys’ would be coming in with juicy offers to assist applicants who can’t sit on the computer for 24/7 to be refreshing the payment page.

The online application is available for applicants applying in Accra only. The inability to make payments online for the printed forms would force all applicants to come to Accra for the online application. Kwasi ko nso ogyina kwantia. Same wahala!

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