Passport fee hikes: Here are the false claims made by Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister

Following public outcry over the recent upward adjustment in passport application fees in Ghana, the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Ministry sought to explain why the increment was necessary.

In an interview aired on JoyNews TV on April 3, 2024, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong said the review was to ensure that applicants paid “realistic” fees for the acquisition of passports.

He stated that the previous fees (GHs100 and GHs 150 for standard 32-page and 48-page booklets respectively and 150 and 200 for expedited services) were inadequate and thus, government had to spend an additional GHs 300 on the production of each standard 32-page booklet.

This, he said, was draining the coffers of the ministry and has deprived the passport office of the needed investment, resulting in delays in the issuance of passports.

He indicated that the passport office recorded a backlog of about 2,000 applications each day because most of the capturing and printing machines became obsolete and the ministry was in no position to replace them.

The upward adjustment, he stated, was, therefore, necessary to sustain the production of the travel document improve general service delivery and bring the cost of acquiring a passport in Ghana at par with the cost of the document in other Western African countries.

According to the Deputy Foreign Affairs minister, Ghana charges the lowest fees for the acquisition of such a document in the West African sub-region.

While stating what he said are the costs of passport acquisition in other Western African countries compared to that of Ghana, he added that even with the recent increment, Ghana’s fees are still the lowest in the whole sub-region.

Fact-Check Ghana has verified claims by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and presents the facts as follows.

Claim 1: “Even with the increment, we still remain the lowest [in West Africa]”.

Verdict: False

Explanation: Fact-Check Ghana checked the official websites of foreign affairs and passport offices of all the countries in the West Africa sub-region. The table below shows the cost of acquiring a passport in each of the 16 countries in West Africa.

Country Cost of passport


$28 or NGN35,000 for (32 pages, 5 years validity)

$56.29 or NGN70,000 for (64 pages, 10 years validity)



$33 (20,000 FCFA)


Ghana $37.29 or GH¢500 (32-page standard)

$48 or GH¢644 (48-page standard)

52.20 or GH¢700 (32-page expedited)

$60 or GH¢800 (48-page expedited)

The Gambia $45 (D3,060) for Biometric Passport

$15.46 (D1,050) for Machine Readable Passport (MRP)



$50 (30,000 FCFA)


$40 for citizens


$50 (30,000 CFA francs)
Benin $50 (30000 FCFA)
Cape Verde $55 (5,600 escudos)
Niger $59 (35,850 F CFA) for adults
Côte d’Ivoire $66.17 (40.000F CFA)
Mauritania $76 or 3,000 new ouguiyas (32 pages)

$252 or 10,000 new ouguiyas (64 pages)

Guinea-Bissau $83 (50,000 CFA)
Burkina Faso $83 (50,000 CFA francs)
Sierra Leone $100 or NLE2,280
Mali $92.85 (standard)

$185.70 (premium)

Guinea $150(5 years validity)

$300(10 years validity)

From the table above, the cost of passport ranges from $28 to $300 in West Africa. However, the price of the document in each country varies based on the number of pages per booklet, the number of years of validity and turnaround time.

Ghana’s recent adjustment makes the prices of passport in the country slightly higher than that of Senegal and also higher than the cost of acquiring a standard 32-page booklet in Nigeria. It is also higher than the cost of acquiring a Machine Readable Passport in The Gambia.

It is, however, noteworthy that the validity period for a standard 32-page passport booklet in Ghana is twice that of Nigeria.

Implication of exchange rate on passport fees

In January 2020, Ghana reviewed the cost of passport acquisition upward but due to the fall of the Ghanaian cedi against the US dollar, the value of the cost in dollars dropped.

So, though the standard 32-page was increased GH¢100, it fell from about $18 to $8 while the standard 48-page dipped from $27.3 to $12.5.

The GH¢150 fee for the expedited 32-page booklet declined in its value in dollars to $12.5 with the GH¢200 for expedited 48-page losing its value from $36.4 to $16.7.

The latest adjustment, however, pushed up the cost in dollars to between $37 to $60.

But as the cedi continues to depreciate against the US dollars, the cost of passport in Ghana may likely decline in its value in dollar in the coming days.

However, as of when Ampratwum-Sarpong made the claim and now, Ghana passport acquisition fees are higher than that of Senegal and the cost of acquiring a standard 32-page booklet in Nigeria and therefore, it cannot be said to be the cheapest in the whole of the sub-region.

Claim 2: “For starters, Ghana’s passport is the lowest in the whole of West Africa sub-regio. The second lowest strangely is Liberia”.

 Verdict: False

Explanation: From the table, the fees for acquiring passports in Senegal is $33 while that of acquiring a standard 32-page booklet in Nigeria is $28 though it is said to be slightly higher at the centres. Also, it costs about $15 to acquire a Machine Readable Passport in The Gambia.

Thus, the Deputy Minister’s claim that Liberia charges the second lowest fees after Ghana for passport acquisition is false.

Claim 3: “Ivory Coast, our next-door neighbour, charges 123 dollars which is roughly about GH¢1,500 thereabout”.

Verdict: False

Explanation: Cote D’Ivore charges $66.17 (40.000F CFA) for acquiring passport and not $123 as claimed by the Deputy Minister.

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