Passport applicants in the Western and Central Regions are frustrated over their inability to have their passports processed.
This is because the only server machine at the Sekondi Passport Application Centre is believed to have broken down for weeks now.
The Sekondi Passport Application Centre which is supposed to serve the over five million population in the Western and Central Regions in the processing of passports is yet to be opened after it was closed down prior to the Easter holidays.
When Citi News arrived at the centre which is located in the Western Regional Immigration service building, passport applicants who had come to make enquiries were seen stranded outside the main entrance.
Once a while, Immigration officers around open the centre’s window to answer questions but these applicants coming from long distances including Elubo and Central Region say their issues are not being addressed due to the broken server.
One of the frustrated passport applicants at the Sekondi centre, Ishmael Akumanyin told Citi News that the issue has negatively affected his school application.
“I have been coming here for almost a month now but anytime I come I am told the server is not working. This morning too, I came to check and I have been told the same story of the server not working. Upon further checks, I was told they had sent the server to Accra for almost a month now and has not been brought back. To be honest with you, it has been very frustrating. I am filling a school application on the internet and the first thing they require is my passport number and for almost a month now, how can I fill the form. I want to go to school so it is very frustrating.”
Immigration officers who had locked themselves inside the closed passport office finally came out through a backdoor upon seeing the Citi News team.
The officers however could not speak to Citi News because they claimed they didn’t have permission from their superiors to do so.
When the Sekondi Passport Application Centre Manager, Ken Dapaah Junior who has been out of the office for weeks was finally reached on phone, he refused to comment on the status of the alleged broken down server which is said to have been taken to Accra.
He directed the team to get answers from the Director General of the Passport Office.
“I cannot say anything about that. Call the national Director of Passports to ask him about the Sekondi issue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the frustrated passport applicants have appealed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to have the device fixed as soon as possible.