Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey announced on Monday the dismissal of overstaying officers at passport offices in the Greater Accra region, citing staff corruption as the reason for the decision.
The diplomat accused the passport officers of frequently extorting money from applicants in order to expedite their services, which she claimed damaged the agency’s reputation.
The staff, she insists, work alongside a network of “goro boys and girls” to manipulate the system.
“I told my officers to put up an online system, now the online system is being manipulated so that people can make money off it. There are investigations going on, and some names have been mentioned. There’s a cartel of people who are working with people from inside,” she told journalists.
Staff seconded to the passport office who have been there for more than a year should not report to work effective August 21 because they have been relieved of their duties, the minister warned.
“We want to bring some sanity. Every time, we say, politicians are corrupt, meanwhile, it is some public and civil servants who will do things that shouldn’t be done, and then they will be put it on politicians,” she stressed.