President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had no justification to rent an aircraft for his recent trip to Europe when the presidential jet, the Flacon was available, a former Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu has said.
Even if there was any justification at all, he said, the president should have been moderate enough to rent an aircraft that is at the level of the Falcon.
“There is absolutely no justification whatsoever to rent an aircraft when we have the Falcon available. If the Falcon was not available for any reason then there will be justification to rent.
“Even if it was not available and we were going to rent given all the circumstances of our county and the difficulties we are in, we cannot be renting aircraft of this nature.
“Even if there was the need for an aircraft to be rented, and we have proven that there was no need for it, a moderate aircraft something along the line of the Falcon then we know you are feeling the pinch that the people felt when you imposed taxes,” he told TV3’s Abena Tabi on the Key Points on Saturday June 19.
He was contributing to a discussion on the justification given by Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul on the decision to rent the jet for the president’s trip.
Mr Nitiwul said the capacity of the falcon presidential aircraft can no longer carry the president’s entourage without re-fueling.
He was responding to an urgent question filed by the North Tongu lawmaker Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa regarding Mr Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Europe.
“The decision to travel particularly to long and multiple destinations such as the president travelling to France, Belgium, South African and back to Ghana especially during this covid time will always require a larger capacity aircraft such as a DBKJ or an aircraft ATJ 319 even when the Falcon is air ready,” the Bimbila lawmaker told Parliament on Wednesday June 16.
Mr Ablakwa accused President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of engaging in extravagant travels.
He alleged that Mr Akufo-Addo spent an amount of GHS 2.8 million on his recent travels to only South Africa and France using the services of a private jet.
“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”, he alleged in a post on Facebook.
By Laud Nartey/3news.com/Ghana