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HomeTechnologyGhana: Foreign Affairs Ministry Proposes 544% Increase in Passport Application Fee

Ghana: Foreign Affairs Ministry Proposes 544% Increase in Passport Application Fee

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is proposing a 544 per cent increment in passport application fees from the current GH¢100 to GH¢644.

The proposed increment is to reflect the increase in printing costs in order to curb losses the state incurs in printing passports.

Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, said Ghanaians, compared to other citizens in West Africa pay less and that “it is time for Ghanaians to pay realistic prices for passports they acquire to travel beginning next year”.

She was speaking on the floor of Parliament in support of a GH¢1.127 million budget estimate for the ministry for the year ending December 31, 2024 which has been approved.

“Ghanaians pay just about GH¢100 for a passport yet to produce one passport booklet it costs GH¢400 which means that for every passport that an applicant acquires, the government has to put in GH¢300 and this is not sustainable,” she said.

According to her, the proposal was already before the Subsidiary Legislation Committee for consideration into the Fees and Charges Act.

“On the cost of passport (for GH¢100), it is not sustainable therefore I will plead with this honourable House to look at this issue for us. It is already before the Subsidiary Legislation Committee and I am hoping that Ghanaians will pay realistic prices for passports.”

Passports, Ms Botchwey said did not primarily serve as identity document for Ghanaians any longer, and that those who needed them, did so to travel and “I don’t think that they would want us to continue to subsidise it”.

Currently, Ghana pays the lowest amount for passport in the West Africa subregion which translates into US$7.7 at the current exchange rate compared to Cameroon’s US$180, Guinea US$57, Guinea-Bissau US$65, Burkina Faso US$80 and Nigeria US$54.29.

Speaking with journalists after the approval of her ministry’s budget, Ms Botchwey said the current charges for passports in Ghana was inadequate to cover production costs and people who needs it must take full cost.

“Passports, as I said, are no longer sources of identification as we all have our national ID card. Therefore, anybody who needs a passport and actually applies and acquires a passport does so because they have intention to travel.

“So, if you are going to travel or you intend to travel and you cannot pay GH¢400 then it is unfortunate because even tickets are now expensive,” she said.

Ms Botchwey appealed to Ghanaians who were not in a hurry to embark on any international travel, not to go for passports.

She said to address service challenges which had been raised by passport applicants, her outfit had provided applicants with consular services.

“We have provided them with options to go to a premium centre where they pay a fee to the service provider in comfort where they will be provided world class services,” she said.

A Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, justifying the hike told the House that plans were far advanced for Ghana to introduce chip-imbedded passports in the second quarter of 2024 to have the security of the Ghanaian passport.

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