June 21, 2024
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Foreign Affairs Ministry wants passport fees increased from GH¢100 to GH¢644

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration is seeking to increase the amount Ghanaians pay to secure passports from GH¢100 to GH¢644.

This information was disclosed by the sector minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, in an interview with Graphic Online.

“Ghanaians pay just about GH¢100 for a passport, 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.

She explained that the deficit in the printing of passport booklets was preventing the necessary investments in the Passport Office.

Speaking on the floor of Parliament before the approval of a GH¢1.127 million budget estimate for her ministry, Ayorkor Botchwey noted that the proposal is currently being considered by the Committee on Subsidiary Legislation.

“On the cost of passports, it is not sustainable, therefore, I will plead with this honourable house to look at the issue for us. It is already before the subsidiary legislation committee, and I’m hoping that Ghanaians will pay realistic prices for passports. At the moment, passports don’t serve as IDs, we have national ID cards. Therefore, those who need passports are those who need them to travel, and I don’t think that they would want us to continue to subsidize it.”

On the backlog of passports, she said her outfit is in the process of securing a giant printer to expedite the process.

The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, had earlier justified the proposed increment in prices of passports, citing production costs and the current affordability compared to other countries in West Africa’s sub-region.

He indicated that there are ongoing discussions with Parliament to finalize approved fees.

Ampratwum-Sarpong lamented that Ghanaians were currently paying 8 dollars compared to other neighbours who paid about 40 dollars for the same service.

He added that there are plans to introduce chip-embedded passports in the second quarter of 2024 to enhance security in line with ICAO standards.

“Liberia charges $50, we charge $8, meaning we have to subsidize every passport. So the money to buy the printers is used to subsidize the passports… And also, we are thinking of upgrading our passport from biometric to chip-embedded. So the chip-embedded version is going to cost more. If we continue charging at $8, we will continue to face the problems that we are having at the passport office… So we have to raise the fees,” he said.

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