I was at the Passport Office today (PAC, Accra. Kinbu Road-(Old Foreign Affairs) to renew my passport.
What I saw today amazed me, compared with what pertained a few years ago when I got my first passport. That day, I lost my first opportunity to travel as a journalist with the then Minister for Trade and Industry because of the unnecessary red-tapism and inefficiency in the system.
Today, it was a totally different experience. From the online application to the booking of appointment for vetting etc., the process was just admirable. I wish all public or civil service institutions would have such seamless efficiency in the way they do their things.
I had heard of the improvements in the system so I decided to have an experience of the main place where there used to be a hassle. I didn't go to the Premium Center where I am told there is really good treatment of applicants because I wanted to see how the masses access the service.
Right from the entrance, the barricades created order and the really courteous military and police men/women did not have much work to do, unlike in the past when they had to serve as a bulwark to push crowds and deal with "goro boys" etc.
I noticed when I went inside that there was a security person every step of the way to assist guests find their way around.
I was very happy to meet very welcoming Policemen--Selase, Ebenezer and their female colleague--as well as their civilian counterparts at the vetting area-Joshua-- and two of the Officers-in-Charge-Emmanuel and his boss.
At a point, I realised the officers noticed who I was and wanted to accord me a preferential treatment but I declined because I wanted to see how the process was like right from beginning to the end. I spoke with a few of the applicants and they confirmed they had no frustrations at all and everything had gone on so smoothly for them and within a few minutes, they were done with the vetting process and taking of photographs.
I was really happy my country was taking shape in that way.
I hope it continues and improves so that we all have confidence in our systems. Kudos to Ghana Passport Office. Ghana can work again!!
Former GTV Newscaster