……..Officials Charge Two Hundred Cedis For Fifty Cedis Birth Certificate
By Cecil Mensah
Naked corruption and nepotism is eating away the operations of Births and Deaths registry across the country.
The registry, which plays a vital role in providing identity for the citizenry, has had its operations riddled with corruption and other negative tendencies that do not ensure transparency in the twenty first century democracy.
Even though, the registry is one of the vital offices under the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, it has not seen any face lift, perhaps since the colonial masters exited the Coast Coast.
Sometimes officers at the registry, have to battle with the obsolete equipment such as type writers, early age computers and bad working environment, because most of its offices across the country are housed in make shift structures in the Municipal, Metropolitan and District Assemblies offices across the regions.
In spite of these challenges, some unscrupulous officers are making a meal out of the situation by commissioning some volunteers and agents who double as middlemen between members of the public who are seeking birth certificate.
The agents charge as much as two and one hundred Cedis for a certificate that is about fifty Cedis.
Reports have it that, clients pay as much as one hundred Cedis for a certificate that will be ready within a week and two hundred Cedis for instant certificates.
The two hundred Cedis for instant certificates, are done through these middle men and women, who flood the Accra office of the registry seeking first timer
Whereas the amount for official issuance of a birth certificate is fifty Cedis, these agents make a windfall by taking advantage of the messy situation the registry find itself.
The agents, who are in a league with some officers storm the wooden office of the registry in the Ministry area near the office of the Musician Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), every morning and pounce on desperate members of the public seeking assistance for certificates.
The ‘Goro Boys” The Herald learnt are connection men working on behalf of some officers of the registry, who aid them in acquiring the document at exorbitant prices.
Aside the naked corruption that has plague the registry, the lack of generator set to power machines when Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) takes power as a result of the ongoing load shedding exercise.
When The Herald got in touch with a gentleman who claims to be the Deputy registrar at the registry, he confirmed the challenges facing the registry and appealed to this reporter to endeavour to come to his office.
When this reporter later visited the office, he was mad claiming that the time he was called by this reporter was ungodly as he was at a funeral at the time.
The deputy registrar, who was visibly mad at this reporter directed him to go and speak with one gentleman named KB for further details on the issue.
Mr KB was nowhere to be found when this reporter got to his end.