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19.01.2011 Regional News

Kumasi gets biometric passport application centre

By GNA
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January 18, 2011 Kumasi, Jan. 18, GNA - A biometric passport application centre was on Tuesday officially opened at Adum, in Kumasi, by the Foreign Minister, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni, with a pledge to speed up the decentralization of the new system.

It is the first to be opened outside the national capital, Accra.

Alhaji Mumuni said four more additional centres in Sunyani, Tamale, Sekondi and Ho would be ready by the close of the year.

This would help to significantly ease pressure on applicants and save them the trouble of travelling all the way to Accra to acquire passports.

The Foreign Minister said the centres would capture both demographic and biometric data of applicants and transmit these electronically to the central operation and production centre at the main office for processing and issuance of the biometric passport.

He said he was confident that the new passport system would lead to remarkable reduction in the chronic problems of identity theft and other fraudulent activities that characterized the old passport regime.

He said it is heart warming that Ghana has now fully complied with the directive by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), that member countries adopt machine-readable passports.

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, said the opening of the Kumasi centre would bring tremendous relief to the passport applicant and commended ECOBANK Ghana Limited for its contribution towards its establishment.

GNA

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