The Diaspora Progressive Movement (DPM), a United States of America base civil society organisation has called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to withdraw the Ghc 900.00 (ie. $150.00) charges for COVID-19 test at Kotoka International Airport, KIA.
The Nana Akuffo-Addo led NPP government is charging Ghanaians abroad who wants to visit home $150/Ghc 900.00 on arrival for the coronavirus test.
To this effect, the DPM called on the government to withdraw the huge charges because it drains their finances and did not speak well to a developing country like Ghana.
President of the DPM, Dr. Lawrence Appiah, in a press release said “we the members of this group think this is the time the government should show appreciation to Ghanaians abroad for our contributions to the growth of the Ghanaian economy by withdrawing the $150 virus fee”.
“….we are aware that some countries are charging as little as $20 or $30 for the same test and they have offered reasonable reasons why they are even charging. In Ghana, the only reason given is that it is not the government who is charging but some private individuals”, Dr. Appiah lamented.
In the statement the movement issued sent to National Tymes, posited that they do not know who those private individuals were. “We were informed that in a nation-wide telecast to the nation, the President said Ghanaians abroad are happy to be paying the $150 fee. We are aware this President has been misled on several issues and we are not surprised that he has been misled on this one too”, DPM President argued.
We are disappointed that this government in particular wants to steal from Ghanaians at any given opportunity, the statement stressed. “….examples are these $150 or Ghc 990 charge for COVID-19 test and GHC 0.30 charge for Ghanaians to check their names on the voters register. These are charges the government should be able to afford for its citizens” Dr. Appiah alluded.
The release stated the NPP government has mandated that everyone coming to Ghana should have a clean health report indicating that the person tested negative to the virus 72 hours before their flight. We want the government to know that, that test is not free.
“So paying double for the same test, we think amounts to stealing”, he argued; adding further that, “we are hoping that for once, the government will treat its citizens abroad fairly and with respect”.
“…we don’t want to believe that the inability by the Electoral Commission to implement ROPAL affected the decision by the government. But ROPAL or no ROPAL, we should be given the same treatment as Ghanaians who, one way or the other change the destiny of the country”, the release added.
The Diaspora Progressive Movement, DPM President, Dr. Lawrence Appiah has emphasized they do not want to politicize this but “looking at the way this government is given free stuff and increasing allowances to some Ghanaians, we can say if the ROPAL had been implemented, we too, would have gotten this test for free”.
“….this is where we think, this government is not treating her citizens abroad fairly and with respect. Please Mr. President, withdraw the $150 virus test fee at KIA”, Diaspora Progressive Movement, DPM President, Dr. Appiah charges.