A former Deputy Minister of Information Felix Kwakye Ofosu jas criticsed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for what he cliams is the obstinacy and disrespect shown by President in the dissipation of scarce resources in the continuous rental of luxurious jets at a time the countr has an equally luxurious and fully functional Presidential jet.
He also said the President has deliberately refused to answer questions relating to the cost of renting these presidential jets.
It is recalled that Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta answered Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on his urgent question regarding the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s three-nation travel to France, Belgium and South Africa.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, who is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, the entire expenditure of the travel could have been used to fix a lot in the country.
He questioned why the presidential jet was abandoned despite being in good condition for a luxurious aircraft owned by Acropolis Aviation based in the UK.
He filed the two-fold question in May.
The Finance Minister however, failed to be in the House, since then, to answer the question on the cost, requesting more time on the first occasion his attention was drawn to the question.
On Wednesday, July 21, however, Mr Ofori-Atta said he did not release any funds to the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) this year in line with the 2021 budget implementation instructions.
“The current practice is that the Ministry of Finance releases quarterly funds to the Heads of Department, in this case, Office of Government Machinery, Chief of Staff for all the operational activities of the office,” he said.
“To facilitate the safe coordination of the President’s travels, domestic and foreign, the Office of Government Machinery and the National Security Secretariat work together to achieve this.
“Mr Speaker, the President’s domestic and international travels are matters to do with National Security. The National Security Minister is best placed to furnish this Honourable House with the details needed,” he said.
Mr Ablakwa has once again raised issues against the cost of hiring a presidential jet for President Akufo-Addo’s trip to the 76th session of the UN General Assembly in the United States.
Adding his voice to this matter, Mr Kwakye Ofosu said in a statement published on Facebook that “The Finance Minister’s claim that the matter rests in the bosom of National Security was a complete lie and ruse to evade the question.
“It is the Presidency that handles matters of Presidential travel and the money was paid from their budgetary allocation.National Security has nothing to do with it.
“The Finance Minister knows this.
“He is in a position to disclose the figures but simply refused to do so because he placed the protection of his cousin, the President, from public scrutiny above the need for accountability.
“As for the NPP minions defending this, they would defend Akufo-Addo even if he committed genocide so disregard them if you are a genuinely concerned Ghanaian who cares about how your taxes are used and demand answers for why this Akufo-Addo/Bawumia has decided to launch this attack on the public purse.”
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana