Politics

Passport Fees: We need to have applicants pay the realistic fees, for a good service – Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has clarified that government’s recent increase in passport fees is not aimed at imposing financial hardships on Ghanaians.

According to her, the government spends GH¢400 on each passport, with the applicant paying GH₵100 and the state absorbing GH¢300, emphasising that this subsidy “cannot be the case that it will continue because it is affecting even our operations.”

Speaking to JoyNews’ Blessed Sogah, she addressed concerns about the prolonged processing time for passports and said that because the government is subsidising passports heavily, makes it challenging to deliver efficient services.

Mrs Botchwey further emphasised that the approval for the new increment of the passport fees went through a parliamentary process, stressing that her outfit has no intention of imposing a financial burden on Ghanaians.
“Parliament has had to agree to increase the cost of passports. It’s not because we want to impose a financial burden on Ghanaians.

“No, it’s just because we need to have applicants pay the realistic fees so that we in turn can also provide them with a good service with a good experience when they come looking or looking to to procure passports,” she said.

She argued that the Ghana Card has now become the primary identification document, making passports less essential for National Identification.

“Today as we speak, we have the National Identification that is working very well so that’s our primary source of identification. No longer the passport.

“And even those who have the National ID can travel into the country with it. So then I’m asking humbly Ghanaians that please, if you do not need a passport and because you cannot afford it, please, humbly, I’m asking you not to go for a passport because it’s no longer your primary source of identification,” she said.
She stressed that because they needed to improve their services, Parliament had to agree to increase the passport fees.

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“Fees come from the Parliament of Ghana. We make a presentation to them, we give them the bare facts of what it is. …. Parliament is aware of this and this document charges came from Parliament.”

She affirmed her outfit’s commitment to abide by Parliament’s decisions, stating that they would comply if Parliament decides to review the passport fees.

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