Franklin Cudjoe, the President of Imani Africa, has stated that he is not amazed that the Passport Office is revealed to be one of the most corrupt institutions in Ghana.
According to him, the advent of digitization has little effect on corruption and corrupted authorities because they still have control over the management of the system.
“Don’t forget that digitalization alone is not a panacea. I’m sure it’s the first significant step to unburdening the system and making it seamless for operators, as well as users to benefit from seamless transactions.
“But unfortunately, if the human element is obviously compromised, then digitalization may suffer. So, for me, I’m not entirely surprised. There’s still that human element. People are still innovatively innovative in a very thieving manner and then trying to run rings in the system. I think we need a full, honest society and probably sanctions, in order to stem this negative tide.”Franklin Cudjoe
His remarks follow Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs’, firing of some employees from the Accra passport office. The personnel were criticized by the Minister for allegedly indulging in fraudulent practices that have damaged the office’s credibility, during a visit to the facility on Monday.
Additionally, she advised staff members who had been employed at the Passport Office for more than a year to take time off, as part of efforts to restore normalcy.
Lawyer Worried About Level Of Corruption Associated With Public Service Delivery
Kweku Paintsil, a private attorney, advised that the government should take action to address the extent of corruption connected to the provision of public services by state organizations.
Most Ghanaians and international investors, according to Mr. Paintsil, encounter frustration when utilizing governmental services, as seen by Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey’s wrath, during her tour of the passport office.
“The frustration that the Minister expressed with regards to obtaining a passport, is the same thing when you go to Registrar General. It is the same when your friend investor, who sits in America comes to do business in Ghana and is able to see that this thing is supposed to run through three weeks and this is the total cost of it. But when he goes to the ground, it doesn’t work that way.”Kweku Paintsil
He gave an analogy that when someone goes for land valuation and requests that just one paper be stamped, they will be informed that it will take three weeks. He continued that if the customer provided money, it would be done in three days, but if they did not want the three-day offer, they would have to wait three months instead of three weeks; proving the level of corrupt attitudes.
“So, these things are happening in all kinds of institutions and places where we are supposed to get things according to certain time lines. So, what the Minister said is just the tip of the ice berg.”Kweku Paintsil
On his side, Vitus Azeem, an anti-corruption activist, agreed that rigorous rules or deadlines could deter public employees and service providers from accepting bribes or engaging in corruption at various institutions.
Regarding his own experience at the passport office in Accra, Mr. Azeem said management of the establishment must forbid visitors and hawkers from loitering, as they primarily partake in criminal activity. He emphasized that although digitizing the process is essential, it was insufficient.