HomeGeneral NewsPassport acquisition a privilege, not a right – Appiah Kubi

Passport acquisition a privilege, not a right – Appiah Kubi

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Andy Appiah-Kubi Asante AkIim North MP

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Andy Appiah Kubi, has defended the recent revisions to passport application fees, citing low travel-related demand among passport holders.

He explained that only a minority, approximately 20%, of passport holders utilise the document for travel purposes, rendering passport acquisition more of a privilege than a necessity.

Addressing reporters in Accra on Wednesday, April 3, Mr Appiah Kubi argued that individuals seeking passports should bear the full cost, considering it a privilege rather than a fundamental right or requirement.

He further emphasised that the government cannot subsidise privileges for passport applicants.

“We agree that it is only about 20% of Ghanaians that need passports to travel out of the country.
And, therefore, looking at it from that context, the passports then become a privilege, not a right or need.

“So, if it is a privilege, who should bear the cost of passports? To be honest with you, within the subregion, passports in Ghana are the cheapest and indeed it is incomparable with anywhere else.”

“The most immediate cost element is from Liberia, and they are charging GH499.50, which is the equivalent of $50 for passports that span for five years…

“Indeed how fair will it be for only 20% of us to surcharge all of us, the 80% for what they want for their purpose of travelling? It is not fair,” he said.

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has reiterated her call for Ghanaians to exercise restraint in applying for passports unless absolutely necessary.

The former Anyaa-Sowutum MP underscored that passports do not serve as the primary identification document for citizenship in Ghana.

She urged citizens to refrain from unnecessarily burdening themselves with passport applications if they do not have imminent travel arrangements.

Madam Botchwey emphasised that following this guidance would help alleviate the strain on passport production within the country.

“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 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.”

The recent hike in passport acquisition fees announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has sparked a backlash among Ghanaians.

Under the new pricing structure, a standard 32-page passport will now cost ¢500, up from the previous ¢100, while a 48-page booklet will be priced at ¢644, a significant increase from the previous ¢200.

Additionally, expedited services will incur higher charges, with citizens required to pay 700 cedis for a 32-page booklet and 800 cedis for a 48-page booklet.


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