Dubious thinking could have gone into decision to rent aircraft – Lord Mensah

A senior lecturer at the University of Ghana Business School, Dr Lord Mensah has noted that there was no value for money in renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip to Europe when the Falcon was available for the same purpose.

He claimed the decision to rent the jet was taken probably because somebody close to the corridors of power may have had a dubious idea to benefit unduly from the transaction.

“They are now telling us that the difference in passengers is six so what is the economic motivation for doing that? That is why I am telling you that there could be a dubious reasons.

“Dubious for the fact that we are renting and spending 2.8million and somebody might have broken the deal and say mine could be 1 per cent of it.

“We need to understand some of these dynamics. If you do the cost benefit analysis for having a sitting airplane and then bypassing it to go and rent another airplane which will.add on six passengers, I don’t think it will ensure value for money as is expected,” Dr Mensah told.Abema Tabi on the Key Point on TV3 Saturday June 19.

For his part, a former Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Mr Richard Ahiagba said the safety of the president was paramount hence the decision to rent the jet.

“The safety of the president” was very important, he said.

For his part, a former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu said, President Akufo-Addo had no justification to rent an aircraft when the Flacon was available.

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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 Abena Tabi.

The discussants were 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.

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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


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