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New passport fees received bipartisan support at Parliamentary Select Committee- Majority Caucus

New passport fees received bipartisan support at Parliamentary Select Committee- Majority Caucus

The Majority Caucus in Ghana’s Parliament is defending the increase in passport application fees, saying that despite the about five hundred percent (500%) increment, Ghana’s cost for acquiring a passport is still the lowest within the sub-region.

Addressing some members of the Parliamentary Press Corps (PPC) at the Parliament House in Accra, Chairman of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee and Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante Akim North, Andy Appiah-Kubi, explained that a Ghanaian passport is no longer a prerequisite for identification but a means of traveling.

He further noted that the state has been highly subsidizing the cost of passports for some time now, and now that a passport is no longer a need but a privilege, those needing it for the purposes of traveling must be made to pay realistic passport processing fees.

“There are only 20% of Ghanaians who need passports to travel abroad, so why should we use state funds to procure passports for them?” the Asante Akim North lawmaker inquired.

Mr Appiah-Kubi also denied claims by some members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the approval of the new fees was done on the blind side of Parliament.

According to him, the new fees received bipartisan support at the level of the Parliamentary Select Committee.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry, in an April 1, 2024 statement, announced the increase in application fees for all passport categories.

The fee increment has seen a 32-page standard passport move from GHC100 to GHC500 and GHC644 for a 48-page standard booklet, effective, Monday, April 1, 2024.

In the same vein, applicants opting for the 32-page expedited service will pay GHC700 and GHC800 for the 48-page expedited service.

The over 500 percent increments have since sparked public concerns, with the minority in Parliament threatening to “trigger a process to revisit the new fees” when the House resumes from recess.

However, Mr. Appiah-Kubi emphasised that the Ministry needed to charge “a sustainable and realistic price” that compensates for the cost of processing a passport.

“When we met with the minister, she explained that it costs GHC400 to produce the 32-page passport but sell it at GHC100, meaning the government pays ghc300 as subsidy.

We cannot afford to do it anymore. The Ministry needs new and modern equipment to enhance its operations, and we believe charging for the cost of production and some additional administrative expenses is in order,” he added .


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