The Deputy Leader of government business in the Sierra Leone House of Parliament, Hon. Bashiru Silikie has said that the Minister of Internal Affairs, David Panda Noah, visited his office, to explain a few technical issues relating to the country’s passport, and asked for more time. Hon. Bashiru Silikie was responding to the Speaker of the House, Hon. Chernor Abass Bundu was enquiring why the minister did not show up in the well on February 21, 2023.
A week earlier, Hon. Silikie moved a motion in parliament to have the minister summoned to parliament to explain a couple of things which included the agreement terms of the passport, with Net Page Sierra Leone Limited, and the USD 25 security fee at the Freetown International Airport.
The member of parliament said Mr. Noah pleaded for more time on the excuse that they were facing “technical problems” at the ministry, and so they would need time to get things together. Mr. Noah reportedly assured Hon. Silikie that he would be available to explain to Members of Parliament the activities of the ministry in their next adjournment.
A couple of issues recently sparked public outrage with regard to the Sierra Leonean passport. The most recent and notable include the chimpanzee on the front pages, and its price pegged to the dollar, or increase in line with its exchange rate.
The charging of the $25 as security was also another issue a lot of people travelling in and out of the country complained about. The minister’s summoning was also to have him explain why the country has been unable to sojourn from a physical passport to an e-passport. This was said to be the premises on which the passport was pegged in a foreign currency.
The Member of Parliament believes the passport’s agreement needs to be looked into, as it is one that has not lived up to the price Sierra Leoneans have been charged for it.
In this editorial, Engage Salone discusses the many issues with the passport.
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