The Deputy Leader of Government Business in the Sierra Leone Parliament, Hon. Basiru Silikie has frowned seriously at the high cost of Passports and called on the Speaker of Parliament, Hon. Dr Abass Chernor Bundu to summon the Minister of Internal Affairs to appear before Parliament on Tuesday the 21st of February, 2023.

He made this call on Tuesday 14th February 2023 at the Well of Parliament.

Speaking during his submission to the Speaker of Parliament, the Deputy Leader of Gov’t Business reiterated that all the features that were agreed to be on the Passport have not been adhered to. He added that the transition from the machinable Passport to an E-Passport did not happen and that people are still paying for a machinable Passport rather than an E-Passport.

“And it was because of the E-Passport which is the electronic Passport that our Passport price was pegged into US Dollars and the fact that we have not been able to surgeon through our machinable passport to E-Passport means we are paying for a Passport which we should not pay that huge sums for,” he said.

He invited the Minister of Internal Affairs, Panda Noah to go to the Fifth Parliament and explain why the Government have been unable to surgeon from a machinable Passport to an E-Passport. He said, if the Government is unable able to move to an E-Passport, the Government needs to revert to the Passport fee of $100 to the old price.

Hon. Basiru Silikie emphasized that the people of this country would not be paying for a passport which is benefiting the citizens in any way.

He said,

“If you look at other Passports in the world when you talk about an E-Passport it should have a check. You look at the first page of the passport. It should have a check, which makes it an E-Passport, but what is happening is we are having a machinable Passport” he lamented.

He maintained that Sierra Leoneans should not continue to for a passport that is not up to the price and that the inflation of the US Dollar is “alarming”, and there is no way the people would be paying these huge sums of money for a passport and there is no way benefiting for what was presented to Parliament.

“I moved a motion to summon the Internal Affairs Minister to come and explain to us or we review the contract and so there is no way as citizens of this country should be paying this huge sum of money for Passports that are not fit for purposes we are paying for” he stated.

Supporting the motion by the Deputy Leader of Gov’t Business, Hon. Segepoh Solomon Thomas said what the Deputy Leader said, he was fully in support and that they started the battle from the last Parliament and they hope to complete this battle by the end of this Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic of Sierra Leone.

The Speaker of Parliament Hon. Dr Abass Chernor Bundu was emphatic to support the submission from the Deputy Leader of Gov’t Business and agreed to summon the Internal Affairs Minister to appear before Parliament on Tuesday the 21st of February 2023.

# Courtesy of Beyond Borders Media