General News of Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Source: Dodzie Numekevo
The attention of the Ghana High Commission in the UK has been drawn to a GhanaWeb write-up 779896 dated Tuesday, 10 September 2019, titled “Dealing with Ghana High Commission UK’s staff is almost synonymous with dealing with incompetent jokers” and authored by a certain Chris-Vincent Agyapong Febiri.
In the said article, Mr Agyapong stated, among others, that “…be it an issue with your Ghanaian passport, a visa, attestation of a marriage certificate or an attempt to obtain a CRB check from Ghana, you are guaranteed the same abysmal service—without any proper channel to raise a complaint..”
He further stated that “…information about processes are not well defined by the Commission and this ties into the unending frustration service users face. For instance, if you are a Ghanaian in the UK illegally and you have lost your passport which you do not have a photocopy of, what alternative documents can you provide to aid your acquisition of a new Ghanaian passport…?”
Finally, he referred to the attitude of staff working at the mission as “…rude, unhelpful and have this belligerent sense of doing you a favour when you are paying them for a job…”
The Ghana High Commission wishes to state as follows;
a. Last year, over 55,000 visas, as well as 13, 000 passports were issued by the mission. Also, several documents, including marriage and birth certificates and company documents issued by institutions in Ghana are attested by the mission here in the UK weekly. It is important to mention that, regardless of the large numbers of people who turn up at the offices of the mission, attestation of documents is done in 72 hours, provided all the requisite documents are submitted on time. In most cases, it takes less than an hour to attend to each applicant.
b. In as much as the mission does not intend to overestimate its performance, clearly the above cannot be said to be an “abysmal performance” as the author would want readers to believe. We do acknowledge though, that, we are not a perfect institution, and would, therefore, strive to serve the needs of our compatriots even better.
c. Furthermore, staff of the mission conduct mobile enrolment exercises across the UK for passport applicants. These exercises save the applicants time in terms of travelling from various parts of the UK to London to have their bio-data taken for passports. Ghanaians resident in Cardiff, Wales were enrolled last Saturday when the High Commissioner and some sectional heads of the mission met them. Ghanaians in Manchester will have the opportunity to enrol next Saturday and that will be the sixth time the exercise will be taking place there.
d. Also, the High Commission continues to hold durbars and town hall meetings across the UK where these processes are explained to our compatriots in detail.
e. On the issue of “..information processes not being well defined..” as stated by the author, the High Commission holds a different opinion, in that, the processes for acquiring a passport, visa, attestation, CRB checks etc from Ghana are all well spelt out on the Ghana High Commission UK website. www.ghanahighcommissionuk.com
f. Regarding the author’s point about staff being unhelpful, rude etc, missions states that whiles this may not necessarily be the reality on the ground, it takes this on board as feedback, even as we strive to do more to serve our compatriots in the face of the huge volumes of work that our frontline staff have to deal with on a daily basis. Continuous training of our staff remains at the heart of what do.
The High Commissioner and staff of the mission are committed to representing our dear nation and the interests of Ghanaians here in the UK.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Head of Public Affairs and Information
Ghana High Commission UK & Ireland
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