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Foreign Affairs Minister Clarifies Passport Fees

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Mrs Botchwey also stated that the permission for the new passport cost increase went via a parliamentary procedure, and that her organisation has no intention of inflicting a financial burden on Ghanaians. "Parliament had to agree to raise the cost of passports." It is not because we wish to place a financial burden on Ghanaians. "No, it's just because we need to have applicants pay the realistic fees so that we in turn can also provide them with a good service with a good experience when they come looking or looking to to procure passports," she went on to say.

Foreign Affairs Minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has stressed that Ghanaians would not face financial hardship as a result of the government’s recent hike in passport prices.

According to her, the government spends GH¢400 on each passport, with the applicant paying GH₵100 and the state absorbing GH¢300. She emphasises that the subsidy “cannot be the case that it will continue because it is affecting even our operations.”

Speaking with JoyNews’ Blessed Sogah, she addressed complaints about passport processing times and stated that the government’s heavy subsidy of passports made it difficult to provide efficient services.

Mrs Botchwey also stated that the permission for the new passport cost increase went via a parliamentary procedure and that her organisation has no intention of inflicting a financial burden on Ghanaians.
“Parliament had to agree to raise the cost of passports.” It is not because we wish to place a financial burden on Ghanaians.

“No, it’s just because we need to have applicants pay the realistic fees so that we in turn can also provide them with a good service with a good experience when they come looking or looking to to procure passports,” she went on to say.

She said that the Ghana Card has now replaced passports as the principal means of national identification.

“As of today, we have a highly effective National identifying system, which serves as our primary means of identifying. There is no longer a passport.

“Even those who have a National ID can enter the country with it.” So I’m respectfully urging Ghanaians that if you don’t need a passport and can’t afford it, please don’t get one since it’s no longer your primary form of identity,” she added.

She emphasised that because they needed to enhance their services, Parliament had to agree to raise passport prices.

“Ghana’s Parliament sets the fees. We deliver a presentation to them, giving them the bare bones of what it is. …. Parliament is aware of this, and the allegations in this paper originated from Parliament.”

She reaffirmed her organization’s commitment to following Parliament’s choices, indicating that they will comply if Parliament chose to revisit the passport prices.

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We’ve not been paid GH¢1 billion; KPMG’s assertion is false – SML

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SML further stated that KPMG's inability to mention that 31.5 percent of the total GH¢1,061,054,778.00 taken as taxes provides a very uneven "impression of the relationship between the compensation, investment, and other related costs." "SML believes that KPMG's failure to include GRA taxes of 31.5% taken before payment, interest payments of 32% plus SML's investment repayment, and other taxes/duties over the period creates an unbalanced impression of the relationship between compensation and investment and other related costs. This omission is really deceptive.

Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd (SML) denied receiving GH¢1,061,054,778.00 for a revenue mobilisation contract with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA).

President Akufo-Addo ordered KPMG to audit the contract between the GRA and SML on January 2. KPMG’s findings revealed that SML received a total of GH¢1,061,054,778.00 from 2018 to date.

However, Strategic Mobilisation Ghana Ltd responded by denying the charges, noting that KPMG reported the amount “without reference to the investments made and the taxes paid” during the review period.

“KPMG quotes a figure as compensation to SML. It is interesting to note that this figure is quoted without reference to the investments made and the taxes paid by SML over the period within the consolidated contract

“The compensation of GH¢1,061,054,778.00 stated by KPMG is inaccurate.”

SML further stated that KPMG’s inability to mention that 31.5 per cent of the total GH¢1,061,054,778.00 taken as taxes provides a very uneven “impression of the relationship between the compensation, investment, and other related costs.”

“SML believes that KPMG’s failure to include GRA taxes of 31.5% taken before payment, interest payments of 32% plus SML’s investment repayment, and other taxes/duties over the period creates an unbalanced impression of the relationship between compensation and investment and other related costs. This omission is really deceptive.

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The president needs to show leadership to stop ‘dumsor’ – Agyeman-Duah

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Professor Agyeman-Duah also chastised the administration for the slow speed at which it is addressing electricity concerns. He argues that given the frequency of power outages, the government should have taken a more serious approach to finding long-term solutions, but this has not been the case.

Professor Baffior Agyeman-Duah, a Governance Expert, has urged President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to show leadership by summoning all major players in the power sector, including the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG), the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRDCo), the Volta River Authority (VRA), and the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC), and giving them marching orders to resolve the power crisis.

He believes he’ll be astonished if the president hasn’t done so already.

Speaking on the Ghana Tonight broadcast on TV3 on Monday, April 22, Prof Ageyman Duah remarked, “I will be surprised that the president has not called the leadership of the VRA, GRIDCo, ECG, and PURC, to sit them down to give them the marching order that he doesn’t like what they are doing.

“That is leadership, we need the president to be giving the marching orders. As I said, if he has done it privately I don’t know but based on the public pronouncements by these state agencies in charge of the energy sector, it seems like he hasn’t done that.”

Professor Agyeman-Duah also chastised the administration for the slow speed at which it is addressing electricity concerns.

He argues that given the frequency of power outages, the government should have taken a more serious approach to finding long-term solutions, but this has not been the case.

He went on to say “The government hasn’t been too active in seeking solutions to problems”

Prof. Baffour Agyeman-Duah also urged the state power distributor, the ECG, to produce a load-shedding schedule.

This, he believes, will help power consumers arrange their lives more effectively.

“The wise thing to do is to issue a timetable,” Professor Baffour Agyeman-Duah said.

Meanwhile, Richard Ahiagbah, Director of Communications for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has stated that power shortages in certain areas of the country are annoying.

However, he stated that there is light at the end of the tunnel for the problem.

Mr Ahiagbah ascribed the problem to the Electricity Company of Ghana’s (ECG) maintenance work.

He told us that the job would be done quickly.

“The recent power outages have been understandably frustrating. However, there is an end in sight. The maintenance works are almost complete, and we can soon expect access to an uninterrupted power supply around the clock, as we have become accustomed to under the Akufo-Addo-Bawumia Administration.”

Regarding the criticism that members of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) have made against the administration over the outages, he stated, “The NDC is the last political organization to point fingers because Ghana has not forgotten the hurts of the ‘real dumsor,’ suffered under H.E. Mahama.

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Gomoa Akotsi: Truck collides with a police car, killing one and injuring several others

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It struck a Chinese national's car before colliding with a police vehicle stationed on the side of the road near Akotsi Junction. An eyewitness, Nai Appiah Nortey, told Citi News that several cops were in the parked police car and two more were in the trunk. The police were said to be making purchases nearby when the tragedy happened. "The vehicle was descending from Gomoa Akramah hills towards the Akotsi junction. But it suddenly lost control, crossed the main road, and collided with a police vehicle sitting on the shoulder of the road. It pulled the police vehicle and then parked in front of a business.

A collision on the road between Gomoa Akramah and Akoti Junction in the Gomoa East District, Central Region, is said to have killed one police officer and badly wounded many others.

According to sources, a KIA Rhino truck (registration number GX 4135-24) had a braking failure and went off track.

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It struck a Chinese national’s car before colliding with a police vehicle stationed on the side of the road near Akotsi Junction.

An eyewitness, Nai Appiah Nortey, told Citi News that several cops were in the parked police car and two more were in the trunk. The police were said to be making purchases nearby when the tragedy happened.

“The vehicle was descending from Gomoa Akramah hills towards the Akotsi junction. But it suddenly lost control, crossed the main road, and collided with a police vehicle sitting on the shoulder of the road. It pulled the police vehicle and then parked in front of a business.

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“There were some police officers in the trunk of the truck, and some even fell out as soon as the collision occurred. “One person has died, and the rest, including the Chinese national, have been rushed to the Trauma and Specialist Hospital in Winneba,” Nai Appiah Nortey said.

The Central East Regional Operations commander and other senior officials came on the spot to evaluate the magnitude of the damage.

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