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Don’t go in for passport if you have no immediate need for it – Minister to Ghanaians

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botwe has justified the four hundred percent increment, citing the need to improve the processes of passport acquisition for Ghanaians.

According to the minister, cost of acquiring a passport in Ghana is one of the lowest in the west African region.

Before the increment from one hundred cedis to five hundred cedis, the minister revealed that the state absorbs three hundred cedis on each passport application, a situation she says cannot continue.

Speaking to GHOne news, the minister stated that “the one hundred cedis charged is not sustainable as it is even affecting our operations. It is difficult to provide any service to Ghanaians at that cost. Today as we speak, we have the national identification card which is working very well. The passport is no longer the primary mode of identification.”

Reacting to the concerns being raised by some Ghanaians regarding the high cost of the fees, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botwe urged persons who do not have an immediate need for passports not to go for them now.

“I am asking humbly Ghanaians , if you don’t have a need for a passport and you cannot afford it please don’t go for a passport as it is no longer the primary source of identification. The Ghana card is. We need to ensure that we improve our services which is why parliament agreed to the increment of fees. It is not to impose financial burden on Ghanaians”.

However, Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs committee of parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa denied that the fees were approved by them, a claim the minister of foreign affairs and regional integration has denied.

“I’m surprised that anybody would deny this. Fees and charges comes from parliament. The ranking member knows the issue of cost of passport. He’s well aware of the difficulties we’re going through. But if parliament wants us to reverse the fees, it must come from them and then my ministry will have to comply.”

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