Gov’t Proposes 100% Increase in Prices of Passport Forms
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is proposing a hundred percent increment in the price of regular passport application forms.
According to the Ministry, the cost of production is much higher, and that if they continuously sell at the current price, they will be running at a loss.
The cost of regular passport application form will increase from GH¢50 to GH¢100 if the proposal is accepted and approved by parliament.
It is however unclear if the price of express passport application forms, which already sells for Ghc100, will also be increased.
The Ministry argues that the cost of processing, and issuance of passports has increased since August 2009, but the cost of the application forms had remained the same over the period.
In its report to parliament regarding the approval of GH¢450 million as 2018 budgetary allocation, the Ministry said the Attorney General has been notified about the proposal to be considered as part of the review of the Fees and Charges Legislation.
“The Committee was informed that the Ministry had sent proposals to the Ministry of Finance to increase the Passport application fees from GHS 50 to GHS 100.00 for ordinary passport processing. The fees, which form part of the IGF of the Ministry, is used to defray part of the processing cost, cost of re-tooling and for establishment of passport application centers in all regional capitals in order to ease the acquisition process. The inputs have been forwarded to the Attorney General as part of the review of Fees and Charges Legislation. The committee noted that, since August 2009, passport application fees have not been reviewed, although the cost of processing and issuing of the document has increased,” the report stated.
The Ministry added that, “while the proposed review when approved would provide the needed revenue to meet the cost of production of the Passports, the Committee was mindful of affordability of the service to the public, and entreated the Ministry to take this into account in estimating the cost of the service.”
Passport acquisition in Ghana
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government has given indications that it intends to make the process of passport acquisition in Ghana easy and efficient, a departure from what can best be described as one of the most frustrating processes to go through in the country.
Despite promises by successive governments to improve the process, many Ghanaians are forced to pay bribes, pay exorbitant charges through middlemen popularly known as ‘gorro boys’ or queue as early as 3:00am each day to have their passport applications processed especially at the Accra application center.
The forms for regular application currently goes for GHS 50, and are expected to be processed within 4 weeks, whilst the forms for express applications are being sold for GHS 100, and are expected to be processed within 2 weeks, although the duration may slightly vary.