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Passport office considering formalising ‘goro boys’ – Director

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The Passport Office has disclosed that it is consulting with stakeholders to consider formalising the role of middlemen popularly known as “goro boys” in the passport application process.

Despite efforts to address the exploitation of applicants by these intermediaries, the issues persist.

To mitigate this, Director of the Passport Office Headquarters, Paul Cudjoe, in an interview with Channel One News, revealed that as part of an ongoing World Bank project, presidential advisors on public sector reform are submitting a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This proposal aims to learn from other countries that have successfully integrated intermediaries into their passport application processes.

He disclosed that intermediaries assist applicants in many parts of the world, and therefore, it should not be difficult for Ghana to consider adopting this practice.

“To be honest with you, over the decades we have tried to get rid of middlemen, but it’s not working. I am telling you that somebody has been in this business for over a decade now, and it is not a passport alone; they are with the DVLA and others. But let me tell you, as part of this World Bank project, they travelled to Mexico, Canada, and Kenya, and these middlemen are all there, but they have been formalised and integrated. They are part of the passport system. So, under the project, we are also studying Canada and Kenya to see how best we can deal with them. 

“There are options: the World Bank, senior officers, presidential advisors, and public sector reforms. They are submitting a proposal for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to consider. Comparing these countries and how they have managed to integrate them.

“Whether you license them annually, you give them a name tag or photo identity so that if they exploit an applicant, they can easily report them. They work, get a commission, and pay tax; these are all some of the options,” he stated.

Mr Cudjoe continued, “It is even an avenue for job creation, just as somebody said at the press briefing. So, the concept will come, and the proposal will go to the ministry, and we will look at all these possibilities. I am told DVLA has gone far in trying to streamline their middlemen so that the negative tags go away.”

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