Presidential Jet: Nitiwul’s claim that cost doesn’t matter shocking – Ablakwa

North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has raised issued with claims by Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul that the cost of renting a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trips doesn’t matter.

Mr Nitiwul has justified the president’s decision to rent a luxurious aircraft for use two weeks ago on a Europe and Africa tour at the cost of over 2.6 million cedis.

He 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.

But reacting to the comment 8in a tweet, Mr Ablakwa said “After listening to Hon. Nitiwul, we now know at the very least that the Presidential Jet is in great condition & was available for President Akufo-Addo’s trip to France, Belgium & South Africa except that it wasn’t luxurious enough compared to the £15,000 an hour Airbus ACJ320neo

“How on Earth can the Defence Minister tell Parliament cost doesn’t matter in considering which aircraft to charter for the President!  We are really doomed!”

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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.

Let’s further analyze 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 accumulated flight travel of 23 hours; so at £15,000 an hour, it thus cost us a colossal £345,000. At the current exchange rate, that is a staggering GHS2,828,432.80”, he posted.

By Laud Nartey||Ghana