Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has pointed to non-competitive procurement practices within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the reason behind the recent surge in passport fees.

Ablakwa expressed concern regarding the monopoly granted to a single entity for passport booklets printing, arguing that such exclusivity is not in the best interest of the public.

He stressed the importance of introducing competition into the procurement process, suggesting that it would lead to a decrease in passport application fees, ultimately benefiting the public.

These comments come in light of the significant increase in passport fees announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Currently, a 48-page booklet is priced at GH¢800, while expedited 32-page applications cost GH¢700. Standard 32-page booklets are available for GH¢500, with the 48-page variant priced at GH¢644.

During an interview on Metro TV, Ablakwa criticized the absence of competition in passport printing, attributing it to the unnecessary escalation of costs for Ghanaian citizens.

“The elephant in the room is also procurement. Do you know that in this whole passport printing business, we don’t really open it up to make it competitive, and that is the basis of a lot of the cost of the things we have to pay more for?

“We could be paying less if we allow for competitive tendering. If we allow the procurement to be competitive. We want to talk about these things.

“Why should it be that just one entity, is reserved for them, it is their gig. We are carving out this country for a certain business, why? And then it is the ordinary Ghanaian who suffers. Why can’t we open up the process for competitiveness?,” he said.