Home / Ghana Politics / “We Will Challenge Passport Fee Hike When Parliament Resumes From Recess” – Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

“We Will Challenge Passport Fee Hike When Parliament Resumes From Recess” – Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament and MP for North Tongu, has announced the NDC minority’s intention to seek the reversal of the recent increase in passport application fees. Ablakwa criticized the new fees as “draconian,” reacting to the implementation by the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Expressing disappointment in a Facebook post, Ablakwa stated, “I am terribly disappointed in Ghana’s Foreign Ministry for the astronomical increases in passport application fees. As my NDC colleagues and I always maintained at the Foreign Affairs Committee, the current economic crisis and unprecedented high cost of living make it untenable to impose these draconian fees.”

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He continued, “We insisted at the Committee that the worst-case scenario could be a graduated approach when economic conditions improve, but alas, they ignored our advice and have gone ahead to impose these insensitive rates in one fell swoop.”

Ablakwa urged the Ministry to reconsider its decision, emphasizing that the NDC minority would revisit the matter when Parliament resumes from recess.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry recently raised the application fees for passport services from ¢100 to GHC500 for a 32-page standard booklet and GHC644 for a 48-page standard booklet. Additionally, applicants opting for expedited services will pay GHC700 for the 32-page booklet and GHC800 for the 48-page booklet.

The Ministry’s decision to increase the fees was included in its 2024 Budget estimates document, which has received approval from Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee. The Ministry’s online passport application page has been updated to reflect the new fees.

In December 2023, Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey had requested Parliament’s Committee on Subsidiary Legislation to review the passport application fees to reduce losses in passport booklet printing. She argued that the current fee of $7.7 for a Ghanaian passport was the lowest in the sub-region and not sustainable, as it cost GH¢400 to produce one passport booklet while the applicant paid only GH¢100.

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