The Defence and Finance Ministers are expected in Parliament this week to respond to questions on what the Minority claims is misuse of about GH¢2.8 million by the presidency for the hiring of private jet for foreign travels.
NDC MP and Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa in a Facebook post described as an outrage and betrayal, government’s decision to rent a private jet for £15,000 an hour during the president’s recent foreign travel.
He claimed per his calculation, President Akufo-Addo spent about GH¢2.8 million on the trip instead of using the presidential jet.
“It is an outrage and a blatant betrayal for Ghana to own a presidential aircraft in perfect working condition which was ordered by President Kufuor, used by President Mills and President Mahama; and yet President Akufo-Addo chooses to charter a top-of-the-range luxury aircraft offered by Acropolis Aviation,” Mr. Ablakwa wrote.
“The Airbus ACJ320neo owned by Acropolis Aviation based in Farnborough, UK and registered as G-KELT is the most luxurious and the most expensive in the Acropolis fleet. The manufacturers describe it as ‘the most outstanding ambassador for Airbus Corporate Jets.’.. It costs the Ghanaian taxpayer approximately £15,000 an hour when President Akufo-Addo rents it.”
“Let’s further analyse President Akufo-Addo’s latest trip to Europe: per Flightradar24, the G-KELT aircraft left Accra with the President to Paris on the 16th of May — a 6 and half hour duration. Airlifted the President from Paris to Johannesburg for 11 hours on the 23rd of May. Then Johannesburg to Accra on the 25th of May was a five and half hour flight. This gives us an accumulated flight travel of 23 hours; so at £15,000 an hour, it thus cost us a colossal £345,000. At current exchange, that is a staggering ¢2,828,432.80,” Mr Ablakwa added.
He subsequently filed questions in parliament on the issue which have been admitted by the speaker.
According to the business statement (which spells out planned business of parliament) for this week, the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul is expected in Parliament on Wednesday to respond to a question from Mr
Ablakwa on “whether the Presidential Jet (Dassault Falcon-9G-EXE) is in good condition and considered air-worthy.”
The Minister for Finance Ken Ofori Atta will on Thursday also respond to a question on “how much the President’s recent official travels to France, Belgium, and South Africa in May this year, cost the Ghanaian taxpayer.”