The Government will officially launch the biometric passports on Tuesday, March 23. Citi News gathers that, the Central Operations and Productions (COP) centre and the two Passport Applications Centreâ€™s (PACs) for Accra are all ready for the smooth take-off.
Within six weeks of the launch, the PACs in Kumasi, Tamale and Ho will also start receiving biometric passport applications for processing. The PACs in Sekondi/Takoradi and Sunyani will be ready to receive and process applications after those in Kumasi, Tamale and Ho have been installed.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Alhaji Muhammad Mumuni in an interview with Citi News said by the middle of this year, all the PACs would be on stream to facilitate the application and acquisition process.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has set April 1, 2010 for all member countries to commence the issuance of machine readable passports incorporating biometric data, while all non-biometric machine readable passports will cease to be accepted as regular travelling documents by other ICAO countries effective November 24, 2015.
Meanwhile, Mr. Frank Nunoo, Assistant Superintendent Officer (ASO) of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) at Sekondi has reiterated that the services of middlemen are not needed to process the biometric passports.
He therefore, cautioned Ghanaians to beware of middlemen when applying for the biometric passport, which takes off on Tuesday, March 23, 2010.