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Minister of Foreign Affairs justifies passport fee increment

Minister of Foreign Affairs justifies passport fee increment

By Hannah Dadzie

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has justified the increase in passport fees which took effect on April 1.

In an interview with the media, Madam Ayorkor Botctwey said the move is not aimed at imposing a financial burden on Ghanaians. The Minister argued that the current fee for the acquisition of a Ghanaian passport which is 8 dollars is the lowest in the sub-region.

This she said, is affecting the operations of the passport office. She said government had to increase the fee to provide quality service to Ghanaians and not to burden them as speculated. She added that this help avoid the prolonged processing time for passports.

“Ghana passport cost $8. Government spends GH¢400 on every passport, the applicant pays GH₵100 and the state absorbs GH¢300, it cannot be the case that it will continue, because it is affecting even our operations. And Ghanaian are complaining the the service it takes long to get a passport. Now it is difficult to provide any good service to Ghanaians,” Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said.

“And Today as we speak, we have the National Identification that is working very well so that’s our primary source of identification. No longer the passport. And even those who have the National ID can travel into the country with it. So then I’m asking humbly Ghanaians that please, if you do not need a passport and because you cannot afford it, please, humbly, I’m asking you not to go for a passport because it’s no longer your primary source of identification. We need to ensure that we improve our services which is why we have to increase it, it’s not because we want to impose financial burden on Ghanaians,” She added.

Some Ghanaians have described the price increase as astronomical. Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said the new passport fees has gone through parliamentary approval, stating that Ministry is ready for any consideration if Parliament decides to review it.

“I am surprised that anybody will resist this. Fees and comes from Parliament of Ghana, we make a presentation to them, give them the bare fact of what is it and they the issue with passport, how much it cost and all of that. And this documents, fees amd charges came from Parliament. Well Parliament agreed to increase it, If Parliament decides that we should go back we’ll have to look at it”

The Ministry, on April 1, 2024 adjusted the fees for passport applications from 100 cedis to 500 cedis for the 32-page booklet and to 644 cedis for the 48-page booklet under the standard service. For those who want expedited service, they will pay 700 cedis for a 32-page booklet and 800 cedis for a 48-page booklet.

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