The Head of Public Sector Reforms has said his outfit is aware of illegal acquisition of Ghanaian citizenship by foreign nationals but said plans are underway to arrest the menace.
Dr. Kusi Boafo told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show [SMS] that prior to Joy News airing it’s Documentary, Paper Citizens, the World Bank in a survey had brought the information to the attention of his outfit and plans are far up to address them.
“The frontline services are giving us problems. The citizens are not benefitting. Ghana as a whole is also losing much, we are also burdening the country with persons who are not supposed to be here and this is also making planning very difficult. Our little budget is seriously overstretched by this irresponsible behaviour by Ghanaians,” he told Daniel Dadzie Thursday.
The Joy News investigation, led by Kwetey Nartey, highlighted unbridled rot by some officials of the Birth and Death registry which has led to foreigners acquiring Ghanaian passports.
With just a few Ghana cedis, a Cameroonian, Togolese or Nigerian can become a Ghanaian on paper. In fact, you need less than ¢150 to be a Ghanaian.
Charging unapproved fees is not the only malfeasance workers of the Birth and Death Registry have been found complicit.
The 2016 Report of the Auditor General found the Registrar of the Birth and Death Registry in Suhum charging unapproved fees.
“We noted that the Registrar at the Births and Deaths Registry charged an amount of ¢50.00 for a Birth Certificate from 575 clients instead of the approved fee of ¢20.00.
“The revenue collector however paid in ¢11,500.00 to cover the total service rendered to the 575 clients. The difference of ¢17,250.00 was not accounted for.
“Lack of public knowledge on the requirements for acquiring a Birth Certificate and fees payable accounted for the practice,” the report said in part.
But Dr. Boafo said these problems bedevilling the Registry are going to be things of the past.
He said the quest to modernize frontline service delivery in Ghana has led to the draft of a National Public Sector Reform Strategy 2018-2023.
The Public Sector Reform boss said loans have been secured for the purpose of modernizing this agency [Birth and Death registry], this according to him will start in two weeks.
The modernized system will include a setup to capture birth and death events in the country instantly.
This will be done by establishing focal points in hospitals, both private and public, in the mortuaries both public and private, in schools both public and private.”
The new arrangement which he said will partner the media, chiefs, churches and community leaders is hoped to increased sensitization programmes aimed at educating Ghanaians on the essence of citizenship and the need to be part of the registration process.
“Birth and death will be resourced with 256 motorbikes and pickups for them to do the instant registration at the hinterlands,” Dr. Boafo said.