Sammy Gyamfi, National Communication Officer for the NDC has emphasized that the probe action filed by North Tongu lawmaker, Samuel Okudjeto Ablakwa, in parliament in relation to the hiring of a luxury private jet by the President will weigh all sides of the coin to come to terms if it was a prudent use of state resources or otherwise.
“…Some of us have been worried that till date [the] government has not responded to concerns that have been raised by ordinary Ghanaians about this particular trip. And so, we wait to see what the government’s response will be but that does not stop the hon. Okudjeto Ablakwa from pursuing other actions,” Sammy Gyamfi said.
He believes Ablakwa’s ambition is necessary for modern-day politics that seeks to hasten the feet of government to provide useful information to their enterprise and the public at large.
Sammy Gyamfi was explaining the motive behind Mr. Ablakwa’s action on the Thursday, June 10, 2021 edition of Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV.
Buttressing his point, Mr. Gyamfi said the outcome of the investigation will allow the general public to do a personal assessment if indeed the private jet initiative was necessary bearing in mind that a presidential jet was purchased during former President Kuffour’s regime to cater for such executive assignments.
He notes the actual cost of the luxurious private jet the president rented that sparked public outrage should be intimated to ascertain the truth of the matter.
Mr. Gyamfi said the dust will finally settle when the government breaks silence on the matter.
Akufo-Addo’s private jet expenses
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has alleged that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has 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”, the legislator alleged in a post on Facebook.
He accused the President of blowing the money “to satisfy his insatiable appetite and comfort at the expense of the suffering masses”.
“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.
Dragged to Parliament
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has dragged the Minister of Finance to Parliament to account for the cost of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
According to a publication from Parliament, the question has been programmed to be answered, but the specific day for the response has not been scheduled yet.
The North Tongu MP has alleged that President Akufo-Addo chartered a luxurious private jet for the said trips.
In relation to the same issue, he has also dragged the Minister of Defence to the floor of the house to give further clarity as to the state of the Presidential jet (Dassault Falcon).
By: Ernest Tetteh Kabu