Minister Ayorkor Botchwey Stands by 400% Rise in Passport Charges:Tells Ghanaians to Pay or Forget Traveling

Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs & Regional Integration, Madam Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, has sparked controversy with her remarks defending a significant surge in passport application fees, stating that those unable to afford the new rates should abandon hopes of obtaining a passport.

Addressing concerns over the substantial fee hikes, Minister Botchwey asserted, “If you are going to travel or you intend to travel and you cannot pay GH¢400 for a passport, then it is unfortunate because even tickets are now expensive.”

The escalation in fees, as outlined on the passport application website, reveals a staggering increase. An expedited application for a 48-page booklet will now cost GH¢800, while a 32-page booklet will set applicants back GH¢700. For standard 32-page passports, the new fee is GH¢500, and for 48 pages, it’s GH¢644.

This move follows a proposal by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration in 2023 to revise the old charges, initially set at GH¢100, to the current rates.

Explaining the rationale behind the fee hike during a parliamentary session last year, Minister Botchwey emphasized the need for Ghanaians to bear realistic costs for passport acquisition. She highlighted the unsustainable nature of the previous subsidy, where the government covered a significant portion of the production cost.

“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 explained.

While the surge in passport fees has drawn criticism from various quarters, Minister Botchwey’s uncompromising stance underscores the government’s commitment to addressing the financial burden associated with passport production and ensuring fiscal sustainability in the passport issuance process.

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Passport application fees increased, standard 32-page booklet now GH¢500

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