Since the Government of Sierra Leone removed subsidy on the sale of Passport last year, the selling price of the Electronic Passport otherwise known as the ePassport was pegged at exactly US$100 which was even more than Le500,000 in October last year.
Since the exchange rate shot up, the company that has been producing the ePassport has been doing so at a loss. They are still selling the ePassport for Le500,000.
A spokesman for Netpage (SL) Limited (the company producing the ePassport) has told the Global Times that, the company can no longer sustain the loss. “It is either we stop producing the ePassport or we sell at the agreed US$100 in order to be able to stay in business,” he said.
He however noted that in the event the Leone stabilizes, the price will be adjusted accordingly.
The price of ePassport will soon go up in order for the company to be able to continue to stay in business.
A government spokesman told the Global Times last night that, it will be difficult for the government to stop the company from selling ePassport for US$100. “After all, that is what the contract calls for…The company has been running at a loss as a result of the depreciation of the local currency the Leone”, he admitted.