If You Cannot Afford a Passport, Please Don’t Go for It – Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey Urges

Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey

Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has appealed to Ghanaians, urging them to thoughtfully assess their necessity for passports prior to application, particularly given the recent increase in fees.

Mrs. Botchwey stressed that the Ghanaian Passport’s significance as a primary identification document has waned, reiterating the importance of obtaining it only when necessary. She directly tackled public concerns regarding the increased passport fees, highlighting the strain it imposes on government resources and its adverse effects on service delivery.
“The passport applicant pays GHC100, the state absorbs GHC300. It cannot be the case that it will continue, because it is affecting even our operations. And Ghanaians are complaining that it takes long to get a passport and all of that. If government is subsidizing passports heavily, it is difficult to provide any good service to Ghanaians. I am asking humbly Ghanaians, that please if you do not have need for a passport and because you cannot afford, please, humbly, I am asking you not to go for a passport,” she said.

Under the newly implemented fees, applicants will be charged GHC500 for a 32-page standard booklet and GHC644 for a 48-page standard booklet. Similarly, those selecting expedited services will pay GHC700 for the 32-page option and GHC800 for the 48-page option.

These fee adjustments were outlined in the Ministry’s 2024 Budget estimates document, which received approval from Parliament’s Subsidiary Legislation Committee.

During an interview with journalists in Accra on April 2, 2024, the sector Minister clarified that only Parliament possesses the authority to reverse the charges once approved. Mrs. Botchwey emphasized Parliament’s decision-making role, stating, “Parliament agreed to increase it, so it’s been done. If Parliament decides that we should go back, we would have to look at it. It’s Parliament that decided and we go by what they decided.”

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