Foreign Affairs And Transport Ministers To Be summoned over E-passport initiative – Ablakwa Claims

Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says the Ministers of Transport and Foreign Affairs will be hauled before Parliament to answer questions on the government’s plan to approve of the use of the National Identification Card, popularly known as Ghana Card as an e-passport.

Mr. Ablakwa said the government’s intended plan was problematic, given that it had failed to seek parliamentary ratification.

He said the two Ministers will therefore have to explain why Parliament was not engaged in the entire process.

“Without parliamentary ratification, all the statements issued by the Ghana Airports Company will take us nowhere. The only project we are aware of in Parliament is the chip-embedded passport which the Foreign Minister announced last week. This business of e-passport is not before Parliament and not supported by proper procedure. There is no ratification,

“We intend to summon the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Transport to tell us exactly what is going on. We are likely to initiate some steps at the plenary and file an urgent question after we have demanded a thorough briefing and we will insist that the right thing is done.”

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) had earlier denied approving the Ghana Card as an e-passport contrary to suggestions by the government.

The Organisation in a thread of tweets said it was not its responsibility to “certify the use of a state’s identity card for international travel in place of a passport.”

“Any decision to accept such alternative travel identity document is made by the receiving state itself,” ICAO further clarified.

But in a social media post, Dr. Gideon Boako of the Vice President’s office indicated that Ghana has officially undergone the process of making the Ghana card certified as an e-passport and that the ICAO’s explanations should be ignored.

“Ghana has crossed this stage with respect to the Ghana card, making it officially certified as having the right qualities to be admissible by receiving countries as e-passports subject to country-to-country bilateral agreements”, he wrote.

The ICAO’s clarification followed reports by sections of the media that it had officially approved the Ghana Card to be used as an e-passport at a special ceremony at its headquarters in Montreal, Canada, following a series of processes, which started last year.

 

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