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The 2024 flag bearer for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is questioning the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) why it extorts monies from Ghanaians at the borders after producing the Ghana card as proof of their citizenship.

John Dramani Mahama’s question comes on the back of the Vice President’s assertion that the Ghana card can be used as a travelling document to any part of the world.

At a public lecture on the digital economy at the Ashesi University Tuesday, November 2, 2021, the Vice President said the Ghana card was set to be recognised as an electronic passport in 197 countries by 2022.

“The Ghana card will be recognised as an e-passport and can be read and verified in all [International Civil Aviation Organization] ICAO compliant borders (in 197 countries and 44,000 airports in the world). When this happens, holders of the Ghana card will be allowed to board any flight to Ghana.

“Furthermore, the good news for diasporan Ghanaians is that when the Ghana Immigration Service is linked to the NIA architecture, diasporan Ghanaians who hold the Ghana card should not have to obtain visas to travel to Ghana,” Dr. Bawumia,  who is flag bearer for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) indicated.

Meanwhile, some Ghanaians have revealed at a town hall meeting at Jaway Wharf, a community in the Jomoro constituency of the Western region that personnel from the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) manning the borders extort monies from them despite producing their Ghana cards to prove they are citizens.

They claim the officers do not recognise the Ghana card as a prove of their citizenship and therefore demand monies from them before being allowed entry.

Reacting to the issue, the former President who lashed out at the immigration for subjecting the citizens through such treatment wondered the validity of the document with regards to the Vice President’s comments.

He questioned why Ghanaians who live across the border with proof of identity are still extorted by the immigration.

He pleaded with the security agency to grant holders of the document a pass since they are all Ghanaians.

“There are some Ghanaians who live across the border in Côte d’Ivoire. What he (one of them who spoke at the town hall meeting) said is that monies are extorted from them whenever they are coming over to Ghana.

“I’ll plead because the immigration themselves agreed when Mr. Bawumia said you can travel with the Ghana card even to abroad.

“This is not even abroad but an internal movement (within ECOWAS) by land and we are being charged.

“They complain when they show their Ghana card, it is not recognised. So I’m pleading with the immigration officers if they are listening to me.

“The Ghana card can be used for travelling purposes so when they show you the card, you should know they are Ghanaians and give them passage,” he noted Saturday, December 16, 2023 during his ‘Building Ghana Together’ tour in the area.

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