The deputy Foreign Affairs minister, Mohammed Habibu Tijani, in an interview has informed all Ghanaians of the plans of the ministry in conjunction with the ministry of interior to rule out birth certificate as a requirement for acquiring a Ghanaian passport.
The ministry takes this stance based on a Supreme Court decision by Justice Ashie Kotey, which States that the birth certificate does not link it’s holder to the information it contains. Birth certificates are not the right documents to determine the citizenship of Ghanaians, because it is easy to get one, and many foreigners in the country have it.
The minister stated that in the past, many fake birth certificates have been used by people to acquire Ghanaian passports, and this new decision by the ministry is going to ensure that only true Ghanaian citizens are able to acquire passports in the country.
He also stated that the ministry is going to work closely with the NIA, to prove the originality of all passport applicants. This partnership is to provide them enough valid information, which will even limit the number of questions asked when applying for a passport, because they would already be privy to the applicant’s information via the NIA.
This decision does not however affect already existing passport holders, it’s going to start with new applicants.
This means to register with the NIA, birth certificates will no longer be used, one can only register after both parents have been verified, and it has been ascertained that they are both Ghanaian citizens.
Indeed, this process is going to be cumbersome, because one can point out a lot of things that will hinder this transition.