The chairman of foreign affairs committee of parliament who doubles as the member of parliament (MP) for Nsawan-Adoagyiri constituency, Hon. Frank Annoh-Dompreh has assured Ghanaians in the diaspora about the NPP government’s commitments to address their concerns.
The honorable MP is also a member of the roads and transport committee of parliament who was speaking to the host of a political show on Amenado Radio in Colorado, USA, Solomon Owusu, enumerated certain strategies the government has put in place to ensure efficient and effective operations of Ghana’s missions abroad.
Mr. Annoh-Dompreh was interviewed on certain pertinent diaspora specific concerns, including the state of Ghana’s foreign missions, passport and visa acquisition issues both home and abroad, matters concerning the implementation of the Representation of People Amendment Act (ROPAA) and road safety issues.
Responding to the questions on the foreign missions, he said his committee has planned to travel to New York, USA next month to assess the efficiency of the facilities and the performance of employees as part of their studies to identify problems and address them accordingly. “My brother, I will lead a delegation to New York in March purposely to study the performance of our mission and the efficiency of the facilities.
We will then interface the outcome with their core responsibilities to determine what we need to fix to ensure smooth customer service. They are there because of you Ghanaians abroad and it is pathetic to hear that they refuse to pick your phone calls and listen to your concerns. This is not acceptable and something needs to be done.”, he said.
Explaining the current administration’s plans, he made mention of the current government’s continuation of the US$ 50 million facility project which was initiated by the previous NDC government for the refurbishment of 31 of Ghana’s foreign missions, a new foreign affairs institute, and a new regime for obtaining a passport within and outside Ghana. He told listeners that the government has committed to build on economic diplomacy and seek value from our diplomats.
He assured Ghanaians abroad on the determination of his committee to hold the diplomats accountable through the ministry of foreign affairs and regional integration.
According to him, Ghana’s foreign image is peaking under president Akufo-Addo and Ghanaians across the world should have the reason to be proud of the nation. In his view, the Akufo-Addo government has arguably had more high profile foreign visitation within one year in office than any government in Ghana’s history and he challenged everyone to double-check. He said, such visits begin great diplomatic relations and good ties.
Touching on passports, he said there is currently a massive improvement in the passport acquisition process in Ghana. “Now there are two methods you can use to apply for your passport, thus biometric and online. Currently, we are testing only greater Accra for the online process and after its successful implementation, six other regions will be added before all the regions activate that method. The biometric takes about two weeks to complete the process”, he said. A caller from London, Madam Lizzie, expressed her concern about the high cost involved in applying for passport from the Ghana’s embassy in London. She said it costs 180 pounds sterling which is equivalent to Ghc 1,110. Responding to the concern, Hon. Annoh-Dompreh said he will contact his senior, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, the Ghana’s High Commissioner to UK and investigate the elements that go into the said application fee. If there is the need to make some changes, he will do his best for Ghanaians living in UK.
The program which was supposed to last for 3 hours ended up being more than 4 hours and Ghanaian listeners in different countries, including UK, Germany, France, Spain, Turkey, Brazil, China, USA, Mali, Nigeria, DR Congo, Ghana, etc, phoned-in to ask him different types of questions. The Hon. member patiently and precisely answered almost all the questions in a matured and diplomatic manner. The listeners praised him for his sense of humor, intelligence and the respect he displayed in responding to their questions, although some began heated confrontations because they felt the government has ignored Ghanaians living in abroad after winning the elections.
Hon. Annoh-Dompreh promised the listeners to exercise patience and put their trust in the current government, as he will do everything possible in his capacity as the chairman of foreign affairs committee to ensure that their challenges concerning Ghana’s foreign missions are known and addressed by His Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo. He asked for continuous prayers for our leaders back home for God’s guidance in their efforts to execute their duties in the collective interest of our homeland Ghana.