Regimented criteria for acquiring Ghanaian citizenship inhibiting investors – Group

Ministry of the Future, a non-governmental organization, (NGO) has bemoaned the criteria for citizenship which requires a person to stay in the country for 10 years, and speak at least one local language fluently before acquiring Ghanaian citizenship.

In an interview with Goldstreet Business the group which is seeking to acquire citizenship for 150 people, explained that the requirement is not encouraging people to return home to invest.

About 80 percent of the 150 applicants are above age 40 whiles the remaining 20 percent are below age 40.

The 80 percent who are Americans seeking to be Ghanaian citizens will be entitled to receive between US$1000 and US$6000 per month from the US government and this the NGO believes will be invested in the country should their applications receive executive decree.

“We need money for investment, we need skills to build this nation, and tapping into the skills base is to make them citizens. The criterion to speak any local dialect fluently automatically disqualifies them because some are not taught any of the local languages out there,” Dr. Hamet Maulana, leader of the group stated.

He added further that “the 10 years stay is a major problem and an inhibiting factor, so many of them will just come on vacation and their activities may not impact on the economy.”

The group in 2016 secured presidential approval for some 34 persons who could not meet the interior ministry’s requirement.

The Ministry of the Future is set to submit a proposal to government for an executive decree which will enable them acquire citizenship without meeting the criteria.

It is currently having discussions with the Diaspora Affairs Office at the Presidency ahead of a meeting with President Nana Akufo-Addo next month.

Meanwhile President Akufo-Addo has directed the Diaspora Affairs Office to spearhead some reforms that will encourage Diasporans to contribute directly or indirectly to the development of the country.

By Nana Oye Ankrah