In an effort to address the persisting passport backlog issue, the government has announced plans to clear the buildup of about 5,700 passports and ensure the swift issuance of passports to citizens.
During a live update on Friday, President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali revealed that all efforts are being made to resolve the problem by next Friday.
President Ali said a dedicated team has been assembled and is currently working 24-hour shifts to tackle the existing backlog including the 400 passports for the diaspora.
“So, all things being equal, that is we don’t have any challenges with the machines and so on by next Friday we are hoping to bring this backlog to nil position,” he assured the nation.
The head of state acknowledged the frustration expressed by citizens regarding the prolonged wait times for passport issuance and clarified that the backlog issue was exacerbated by a global shortage of passports, a challenge faced by numerous countries worldwide.
However, the president assured the public that significant measures have been taken to rectify the situation.
“Now, we have purchased a lot of passports back into the system. But what I’ve seen is that people are not utilising regional offices,” he highlighted.
For instance, at the Central Immigration and Passport Office in Georgetown, there are about 4,048 passports in the backlog; in Berbice, 900; Linden, 102; Anna Regina 103, Parika 54 and Bartica, five.
With these concerted efforts, the government remains steadfast in its commitment to resolving these and other issues that continue to affect citizens.