Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has stated that rendering accounts on monies spent on presidential travels is a common practice.
He said the US government has a similar program in place and therefore he finds nothing wrong in explaining to citizens how their taxes were disbursed.
The MP for North Tongu was expressing his sentiments about the Finance Ministry’s ‘hide and seek’ attitude in providing the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trip.
The Finance Minister was initially scheduled on June 17, 2021, to provide answers to a question filed by Mr. Ablakwa to know how much it cost the President spent on his European tour in May which has seen several postponements to the dismay of the North Tongu MP and his minority group in Parliament.
In a passionate delivery on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana on Friday, July 23, 2021, the former Deputy Minister of Education in the erstwhile Mahama Administration said “I’m outraged, livid actually about how low this government has sunk when it comes to accountability, when it comes to transparency, and when it comes to good governance details.”
Mr. Ablakwa emphasized that it is in order to seek such information arguing that “every country, there is transparency about this. I have many questions and letters written by US Congressmen and women. The latest one was by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren seeking to know if Trump has fully reimbursed his business travels that they did on Air Force One.”
He said the United States has a plan they follow on such matters noting “If you are sitting President and you use the Air Force say you are going for an official assignment in Texas and you stopover at a political event say fundraising or a rally, you pay for it and they have the charge per hour. How much you must pay.”
Mr. Ablakwa emphasized that President Obama has recently redeemed his cost of travel saying, “For President Trump’s the campaign team will have to pay. The Republican National Convention pays for it. These are matters that are known. So the world over, there is best practice.”
“There is nothing secretive. There is nothing untold about seeking information on how you have expended the taxpayer’s money on Presidential travels,” he added.
By: Ernest Tetteh Kabu