The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has expressed her outrage at the involvement of some passport office staff in illicit activities. These staff members are accused of colluding with middlemen, known as “Goro boys,” to demand exorbitant fees for the acquisition of passports. In response to these allegations, the minister made an unannounced visit to the passport office in Accra on Monday, August 14.
During her visit, the minister took immediate action by dismissing some officers who were found to be aiding the “Goro boys” in their illegal activities. She strongly condemned the practice and questioned how the standard fee of GH¢100 for a passport and GH¢150 for an expedited service had escalated to as much as GHS2000 and GHS3000.
The issue of “Goro boys” in the passport acquisition process has been widely reported in the media recently, prompting the minister’s surprise visit. Speaking to the media after her visit, she emphasized the wrongness of charging such exorbitant amounts for passport services. She also highlighted the fact that the “Goro boys” cannot operate without the assistance of insiders within the passport office.
The minister’s actions and statements reflect her determination to combat corruption and ensure that passport services are accessible to all citizens at a fair price. She stressed the need for transparency and integrity within the passport office and expressed her disappointment that some staff members had chosen to engage in dishonest practices.
The minister’s visit and subsequent dismissal of officers involved in the illegal activities demonstrate her commitment to restore public trust in the passport acquisition process. She called on the relevant authorities to investigate the matter further and take appropriate action against those involved.
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