Passports Not Primary ID Anymore: Foreign Minister Urges Ghanaians to Use National Identification

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In a recent press briefing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, made a compelling case for Ghanaians to reconsider the necessity of holding a passport. With the effective implementation of the National Identification system, the minister highlighted that passports have been dethroned as the primary source of identification for Ghanaians.

The minister’s address to journalists underscored the sufficiency of the National ID for both identification and travel into Ghana, urging those without an immediate need for a passport, especially those who find the cost prohibitive, to abstain from applying. This call comes amidst concerns that government subsidies on passport applications may be unsustainable and could potentially degrade the quality of service provided to citizens.

In light of the government’s fiscal prudence, the Ministry has announced an adjustment in passport fees, effective from April 1, 2024. The revised fees are set at GHS800 for an expedited 48-page passport and GHS700 for a 32-page document, in accordance with the 2023 fees and charges regulations, L.I.2481.

The minister reassured the public that these adjustments are not intended to impose financial burdens but are a necessary response to economic realities. She also stated the ministry’s readiness to cooperate with any parliamentary review of the fee structure, emphasizing the government’s commitment to transparency and accountability in its decision-making processes.

As Ghana navigates the complexities of identity management and fiscal responsibility, the minister’s declarations mark a significant shift in policy and public expectation, placing the National Identification system at the forefront of the country’s identity verification framework.

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