Claim: The New Patriotic Party led administration implemented the online passport application process in Ghana.
True. Although the previous administration piloted by the National Democratic Congress set up and launched the online application process in December of 2016, its use was not implemented until the Akufo-Adddo led administration took office in 2017.
The New Patriotic Party, in a Twitter post from the President’s verified account, posted that their administration was responsible for implementing the online passport application in the country.
The post has been retweeted 2.8K times since it was posted yesterday, October 19th, 2020.
A well known Ghanaian celebrity, Sarkodie, has also retweeted the post, indicating appreciation and congratulations to the ruling government.
“…was looking forward to this…About time. Anything towards the right direction we support though there’s a lot to b fixed”, the tweet stated.
Sarkodie’s retweet on its own has also generated 1.4K retweets and 8.3K likes since yesterday.
The initial post and the supported retweet has led to extensive discussion on the twitter social media platform. Some users have countered the claim made with posts that suggest that the former government, led by John Dramani Mahama, was actually the one to implement the online passport application process.
They further indicate that the post is a blatant lie on the part of the ruling government.
On the other hand, some, like @ChristallAndre1 and @enkaddison have commended the government for being efficient and competent and have also “thrown shade” at those making any contrary comments on the matter.
Dubawa set out to clarify the issue of who did what regarding the online passport application and renewal process.
Passport Application in Ghana.
Until December, 2016, all applications for new Ghanian passports and renewal of already existing ones needed to be processed manually. The process involved buying the form from designated banks or the passport office and sending duly completed form to the passport office for processing.
Between 2014 and 2015, during the Mahama led administration from July 2012 to December 2016, the online passport application project was introduced through the National Information Technology Agency’s (NITA) pilot project which was later taken over by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.
The system was tested successfully and launched in December, 2016 by the Minister, Hannah Tetteh.
The move to convert to an online system for the passport application process was fueled by complaints about the long queues and the “Goro boy system” which for years frustrated citizens.
Present state of Passport Application In Ghana
After phasing out the manual passport application since its launch in 2016, the online application which is now in full force came into effect on March 1st, 2020. This was announced in a press statement signed by the current Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Sherry Ayorkor Botchway.
What this means is that by March 1st 2020, there can be no manual processes for acquiring or renewing passports in the country.
The process now involves buying an online form by selecting from a range of payment options, completing and submitting the form online and finally, selecting preferred dates for the capture of the individuals bio-data at any of the Passport Application Centers (PACs) across the country. This is done through the Ministry of information portal: passport.mfa.gov.gh.
The online passport application system has been in effect since its launch in December 2016. But since March this year, the manual system has been completely scrapped off for the online system to take full effect.
It can then be concluded that the online passport application process was indeed implemented during the ruling NPP administration after the NDC lost power in 2016.