www.OpenGhana.com can report that parliament is expected to approve a reviewed list of fees and charges associated with the acquisition process of the Ghanaian passport. This is according to, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Foreign Affairs Minister.
According to Ayorkor Botchwey, government is finalising a reviewed document of the fees and charges applicable.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey disclosed that the reviewed fees, demands Parliamentary approval before it takes effect, thus, subject to consent by all relevant authorities, it will be submitted to Parliament for the necessary processes to take place.
According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, the fee for acquiring a Ghanaian passport, has been reviewed downwards to make it easier and convenient for every Ghanaian, irrespective of their location to acquire one.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway noted, “His Excellency the President has tasked us to review the cost of Ghanaian passports downwards. We are in the process of doing this… It needs to go to Parliament because the House approves fees and charges.”
“We are processing it and then we will at some stage take it to Parliament and we are hoping that Parliament will approve the reduction of passport fees…because we know that acquiring a passport should not be a difficult process for you,” she added.
Ayorkor Botchway, In May 2019, announced plans by government to review the passport fees to make up for the losses the State was making through subsidies.
This position seems to have changed with the latest directive from President Akufo-Addo.
She explained, “this is a service that the government does not intend to make any profit on. However, it will be wrong for us to continue to subsidise the fees for acquiring a passport. We are in the middle of negotiations of some sort to see how much more we could charge to break even and never to make a profit. We are making losses so there is the need for Ghanaians to pay a more realistic price for the passport but no decision has been taken yet.”
Currently, acquiring a passport costs GHc50 and GHc100 for standard and the premium services respectively.
The Minister made these remarks when she opened a Passport Application Centre in Japan to serve Ghanaians in China, Japan, South Korea and neighbouring Asian countries.
The PAC is expected to commence operations in 2020 and will ease the challenge posed Ghanaians in the Asian region.
“Our bases in China, Malaysia, South Korea, Australia and India will transmit their applications for printing in Tokyo” , Foreign Affairs Minister said.
As part of reforms to streamline the process, government extended passport application centers to eight regions to ease the pressure on the Accra passport application centre.
The Ministry has secured office spaces from the Regional Coordinating Councils in the Upper East, Upper West and Central Regions for the establishment of Passport Application Centers in the respective regional capitals.
The Ministry has also opened passport application centres in Tema and Koforidua.