It has been some time now since this issue of a choice of a Dutch Passport over a PhD at Ghana’s premier university of Ghana emerged with divergent views being expressed.

The raging debate was sparked by self-patronizing comments captured in a viral video of a supposed Ghanaian known as ‘Kofigabs’ claiming to be living in the Netherlands.

He also claimed to be a janitor and lived in the country for 10 years qualifying him to become a citizen.

In his assertion, his toil over the years as an uneducated person cleaning lavatories has eventually paid off with the acquisition of the Dutch passport, which he believes is better and more prestigious than a PhD qualification attained from the University of Ghana.

The supporting argument from “Kofigabs” as a holder of a Dutch passport, is that he can travel to many countries without applying for Visas and would also be given preferential treatment unlike, a PhD holder from Ghana who will have to go through scrutiny to apply for visas with their Ghana Passports despite their academic achievements.

Although this should not have gained any national attention, most Ghanaians have jumped into the fray in support of the warp thinking of “Kofigabs”.

I’m using the word “warp” not to describe his personality or denigrate him but his views and opinions about the Dutch Passport and PhD. It is apparent he lacks appreciation of the PhD qualifications.

For those who may not know Kofigabs alias “Mr. Happiness,” he’s the jester who’s not supposed to be taken seriously in his social media attention-seeking comments, unfortunately, he has been seen as a hero.

Now back to the main issue, it is for obvious reasons that most Ghanaians especially the youth think he’s right in his assertion. They are convinced that the governance system amid a global economic meltdown has been poorly managed thereby, making living conditions unfavorable for the citizens.

The media also widely reported had discussions, conducted Vox from citizens. And it is amazing the responses gathered so far. Arguments so far are in favor of “the new Dutch-born Kofigabs”. Some have publicly confessed of leaving the country with the least opportunity.

But there’s no need to compare the condition of living in the country used as a case study in this needless discussion that has been ignited.

My worry is the implication of comments expressed by Ghanaians on various platforms which are demeaning and damaging the credibility of the country internationally.

Mind you, whatever we do on our media spaces within Ghana shouldn’t be taken lightly , because, it transcends borders and informs other countries about the perception of certain citizens.

I’m concerned because, of my fair knowledge of international intelligence gathering that informs immigration regulations in specific countries, i.e Canada, USA, UK, and Europe.

Even locally, when an issue is of public concern arises, the security agencies especially, NIB, National Security, and Defense intelligence conduct what we call in security terms “Public Reactions(PR)”.

They sample the views of Ghanaians at drinking spots, and public places and give regional reports to national headquarters.

This information gathered then feeds into the national security advice to the government of the day and also informs certain national policies and security alertness.

Note that when citizens become agitated, it moves from an economic crisis to a national security threat since vulnerability can lead to instability.

The same applies to the most sought-after countries of destination by Ghanaians.

Do you remember recently, UK and Canada had to tighten their immigration laws?

This was after it was detected that most immigrants used the school routes to relocate their families leading to an increase in their population and pressure on the systems.

For instance, before, an undergraduate was entitled to travel with a dependent (Wife, husband, Children) for the period of study.

However, it was later realized the system was abused. And dépendant Visa now restricted to only PhD and Research Master’s students.

Not only that , deposits for Letter of acceptance from a designated institution which used to be less than $2,000 has increased astronomically.

You now have to pay a minimum of $10000,£5,000 pounds to get these documents for visa application as self-funding students in addition to a proof of funds for your tuition and stay of not less than $40,000.

The requirement will not also be complete if Province Attestation Letter(PAL) is not issued. The introduction of the PAL is to put a cap on each province and regulate the number of applications.

Even after securing the visa through these vigorous process, the last hurdle you will have to deal with is convincing the borderline security upon arrival at your destination. You can be deported even at that point if you are unable to convince them for the purpose of your travel.

There are African countries, I will decline to mention that their citizens are always scrutinized even with the legal documents as a result of damaged global reputation.

The case is however exceptional for Ghanaians , so don’t ever be deceived your Ghanaian passport is worthless and without value.


My recent travel to Canada, boosted my confidence and made me proud as a Ghanaian. I transited in three major airports to my final destination and the exceptional respect I was accorded by the airport security was amazing.

My final destination was Montreal, so upon arrival, a fellow African approached me and asked how long I was staying. When I mentioned to him, He exclaimed ! “You want to waste this visa and your money, why would you want to go back?

I explained to him that I do not have legal rights yet to work in Canada and wouldn’t want to spoil my travel record. So I will return after I’m done with my reasons for traveling to Canada.

He said “there’s a way out my brother. You know your country, Ghana there’s pressure on your President to pass the anti-gay bill into law right? So with your work as a Journalist, It will even be easier for you to get documents to begin work soon in Canada. Just explain to immigration that your life is at risk because , you are an advocate for gays and if the law is passed, your life will be in danger because, you are at risk of going to jail per the law”.

That was a smart reason to convince the officers and sell my country out just for “Asylum Status” and papers to work right? However, I thanked him for his advice and declined .

I headed to the officer sitting in a booth before the final exit and presented my documents, he looked at me and said “Samuel, you are Ghanaian. Welcome to Montreal. Ghanaians are really nice people, what brings you to Canada and where is your final destination?“ he said while smiling.

I explained to him I was a Ghanaian Journalist on an official duty and headed to Ontario, Ottawa. He was happy and my session lasted under two minutes and my passport given back to me to exit unlike others, who were detained for hours at Immigration Room for further investigations .

I saw my fellow Africans being deported not because they did not have the legal travel documents, but their country of origin had credibility issues.

I’m making this reference for us to understand that, our country Ghana is held in high-esteem internationally, which we have to fight at all cost to preserve and not allow uninformed opinions derail it just for the social media clicks.

But “my heart jumped like a cat over a wall” when I woke to the speech delivered by Former President and NDC Flagbearer John Mahama capitalized on this sentiment to make a political capital out of it.

This is an excerpt from his speech delivered at Public Lecture in Kumasi.

“Unspeakable corruption, nepotism, brazen theft, waste of national resources, impunity, and general criminality have become the hallmarks of Ghana’s current government. There is widespread despair and anguish among the people, leading to an active debate on social media about whether securing a visa for menial jobs in Europe is better than holding a PhD in Ghana.

An overwhelming majority would gladly opt to obtain the visa, signalling a complete loss of confidence and hope in our country's future. This teaches us that democracy has no meaning if it does not improve people's lives qualitatively.

With the national spirit sinking to an all-time low and hopelessness engulfing our country, a change in governance and direction has become imperative.” He stated.

He added that “That is why I have decided to run for office as President. My experience and disposition are needed at this moment to provide the leadership necessary to address our myriad problems. Given our dire economic circumstances, I am keenly aware of the weight of expectations that will rest on the next government. Real work must go into winning back our people's trust in democratic governance and structures.”

The above are his words. I’m not only disheartened by the needless comments by John Mahama, I’m shocked he’s the one making this statement.

Does he think Ghanaians really have a “short-memory”? Should we remind him about what happened under his government? The job losses , depression from unstable power supply (acute dumsor), corruption and the mismanagement? How better did he manage the economy than what is happening now ?

I believe John Mahama could’ve done better and not sell the country by further paint a bleak picture in his quest for power!

I leave this to Ghanaians to decide.


The Big question now is , what may be the possible immigration consequences to Ghanaians in the wake of this debate?

I must admit that, I’m not an expert in the field of international immigration laws but in my conversations with those with the expertise both home and abroad , I was able to deduce the following possible consequences.

The comments made by Ghanaians about leaving the country and preferring a Dutch passport over a PhD in Ghana may have several immigration consequences, including:

Increased scrutiny of visa applications: Ghanaian citizens may face closer scrutiny when applying for visas or residency permits in other countries, particularly in the Netherlands.

Stricter requirements: Immigration authorities may impose stricter requirements or additional documentation for Ghanaians, such as proof of strong ties to their home country or additional financial guarantees.

Delayed processing times: Visa applications from Ghanaians may be delayed or take longer to process due to the perceived risk of immigration fraud or abuse.

Reduced immigration opportunities: The comments may damage Ghana's reputation and lead to reduced opportunities for Ghanaians to travel, study, or work abroad.

It is my fervent belief that we can do better as Ghanaians to uphold and defend the good name of mother Ghana no matter the situation. Patriotism should always triumph over pessimism and partisan politics.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.