Cost for Sierra Leone’s passport has been surprisingly increased from Le 500,000 to Le 750,000, a 50% increase.
The increment has come at a time Sierra Leoneans are seen to be going through trying times including recent unbearable increase of electricity tariff.
A public notice by Jamel Shallop’s Netpage Company reveals however that the increment in the price of passports came owing to current devaluation of the Leone against the United States Dollar.
Netpage stated in its published public notice that the equivalent of a $100 in Leones is Le750, 000 and that they (Netpage) have been producing passports at a loss.
Netpage maintained that with the removal of subsidy on passport, the new price of passport will take effect on 1st November 2016.
“In the event the Leone appreciates and stabilizes, the price will be adjusted accordingly,” the released explained.
It could be recalled that Sierra Leoneans verbally protested against the award of the passports contract to a company as owned by a Lebanese man Jamel Shallop on the ground that the price of producing the passport was too high.
There were suggestions from Sierra Leoneans that instead of giving the contract of producing passports to Jamel Shallop, government should have given it to Delarue who does the actual production than sub-contracting it to the printers.
Currently, the Account and the National Revenue Authority Departments at the Immigration have been left completely idle, because Jamel Shallop’s official are currently occupying the ground floor of immigration, collecting money and decide what to give government after sales.
Shallop who is one of most influential businessmen in the country has acquired number of vast lands including the one at Kissy Terminal. That which was perceived as shadily acquired.
Already, and according to Systems and Processes Review of the Anti Corruption Commission on the Immigration Office, it was recently confirmed that there are hundreds of passport books in the Office of the Chief Immigration Officer, which no doubt surprised Sierra Leoneans to now hear a dramatic 50% increase of passport just like that.