Sierra Leonean will begin to pay almost 2,000 New Leones which is correspondingly 100 United States dollar and will make it very unlikely for the least Sierra Leonean to pay for passport.
Jamel Shallop’s Netpage was given the contract to print the Sierra Leone’s passport with securitized features and to ensure that he sold the passport for $100.
This means that the exchange rate will also determine increase in the price of the passport which is the situation now.
The agreement to privatize the printing of Sierra Leone was made by the then Minister of Internal Affairs, Joseph Bandablah Dauda on the 11 February 2014.
This was welcome by the people with hue and cry as they believe the government wanted to make passport a luxury in Sierra Leone.
In 2017, Clause One (1) of the agreement was amended and states “by virtue of the change in the rate of exchange after the execution of the Agreement and in order to maintain the unit cost of the e-Passport in Leones as Le500,000 the parties hereby amend Clause 5 of the Agreement to read US$100 instead of US$120, and this to be reviewed periodically based on the inflation rate in Sierra Leone.”
In all of this, the present ruling Government condemned the dollarization of the passport deal and promised to review it if elected.
Shockingly, the same people who condemned the deal are the once
announcing huge increase in the price of passports from Le950,000 to 1,800,000 which is over 100% increase just like that.
This announcement was made by the Chief Immigration Officer, Andrew Jahai Kaikai last Thursday 8 December, giving the same fake e-passport explanation for the increment.
More on this in subsequent editions