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False; Liberia’s $40 passport fee not second cheapest in West Africa 

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Claim: A Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, has claimed that Liberia’s $40 passport fee is the second cheapest in West Africa, with Ghana being the first.  

False; Liberia’s $40 passport fee not second cheapest in West Africa 

Verdict: False. A search through the Nigeria Immigration Service website shows that Nigeria charges $11 for individuals aged 0–17 years and $19 for those aged 18–59 years as passport fees for a 32-page standard booklet. This situation is far below that of Liberia’s. Traditional passport fees are charged as low as $14 in The Gambia. These are far lower than the $40 passport fees charged in Liberia.

Full Text 

A Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, has claimed that Liberia’s passport fee of $40 is the second lowest in West Africa, with Ghana having the cheapest fee at $8. He mentioned this during a press briefing on Nov. 29, 2023. 

According to him, Ghana’s passport fees are subsidised, and Ghanaians pay less than other countries. He suggested raising the fees to improve service quality. 

He said, “Our passport happens to be the cheapest in the whole West African Sub-region. Ghana passport costs $8; the next cheapest is Liberia, which charges $40.”

This claim has been reported by various online news outlets, including Ghanaweb and the state-owned Ghana News Agency. The claim can also be found on YouTube on GhanaWeb TV, specifically from 1:58 to 2:22

Verification 

DUBAWA first initiated an investigation to verify whether Liberia indeed charges $40 as a passport processing fee. According to the Republic of Liberia Online Passport Service website, the specified passport fee is $40. Having confirmed this information, DUBAWA conducted a comparative analysis of passport fees among randomly selected countries within the West African sub-region.

Given the variations in currencies across these countries, DUBAWA used the dollar equivalent to standardise the comparison. Notably, the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, cited a passport fee of 8 dollars for a standard passport booklet containing 32 pages in Ghana.

To maintain consistency, DUBAWA used the fees associated with a standard booklet from some selected West African countries to ensure the accuracy of this claim. 

Our research discovered that apart from Ghana, which has the lowest passport charges, Nigeria and The Gambia demand passport charges significantly lower than those of Liberia.

According to the Nigeria Immigration Service, the passport fee for a 32-page booklet is 8,750 naira for individuals aged 0–17 years and 15,000 naira for those aged 18–59 years. Converting these amounts to dollars using the exchange rate as of Dec. 7, 2023, yields $11 for the 8,750 naira fee and $19 for the 15,000 naira fee.

Furthermore, our investigation revealed that The Gambia charges 1000 dalasis, equivalent to $14.85, for a traditional passport and 3000 dalasis, equivalent to $44.54, for a biometric passport. 

Passport Fees for Selected West African Countries

CountriesFees 
Ghana $8
Nigeria $11 and $19
The Gambia $14 and $44
Liberia $40
Source: NIS, RLOPS

According to the data above, Nigeria charges $11 and $19 for passport fees compared to Liberia’s $40, making the Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration’s claim false. 

Conclusion 

Even though Ghana has the lowest price of passport fees in Africa, the ministry’s basis for the increment by citing Liberia as the second country in West Africa to have the cheapest passport fee of $40 is inaccurate.

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