The Secretary-General of the African Development Bank Group, Professor Vincent Nmehielle has described as scary the US$150 being charged for COVID-19 testing at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA).
Prof. Nmehielle is calling on the government to review the amount and reduce it adding that the charge is a disincentive for the business community and tourists who are interested in traveling to Ghana.
“What more can you say about integration? The AfCFTA Secretariat is in Ghana. A key aspect of integration outside of the movement of goods is the movement of people. In fact, that brings me to my encounter at the airport that I have to pay $150 to do a COVID test. It was scary for me. That’s going to hamper a lot of free movement and if you ask me it is exorbitant,” Prof. Nmehielle told Citi News in an interview.
His comments come after several calls by Civil Society Organisations and the Minority in Parliament for government to reduce the $150 charge for the COVID-19 test at the Kotoka International Airport.
But the Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Bernard Okoe-Boye on August 31 justified the US$150 COVID-19 test fee.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Monday, Dr. Okoe-Boye said the fee was reasonable compared with global charges.
“As a ministry and a government who are stakeholders in the management of COVID-19, we were very much interested in the cost of the test. We wanted to make sure that the cost of the test will not put an unnecessary burden on the passenger. So we quickly looked at what is being charged across the globe,” he said.