Ghana has spent over 50million United States Dollars in the last 10 years alone to rent aircraft, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has revealed.
Justifying a move to purchase a new presidential jet, he said on Good Evening Ghana Thursday, June 17 that “We are spending more money to charter aircraft that we would have if we had our own aircraft. Over the last 10 years, we have spent over a 50million dollars to charter aircraft and the Ghana Air force is saying why are you wasting all this money.
“If you have 50million United States dollars to charter aircraft to cater for soldiers only, why won’t you give us that money for us to buy a bigger aircraft.”
Regarding media reports that quoted him as saying, although the Falcon aircraft was airworthy, it lacked certain facilities like a washroom and it couldn’t contain more than eight passengers, he said the reports are mischievous.
He said he never referred to Akufo-Addo when he made a comment to that effect.
“I said that no president using this aircraft can shower in this aircraft, no president can freshen up. I never said Akufo-Addo or John Mahama or Kuffuor. In fact, three presidents have used this aircraft before. President Mills has used it. President Mahama has used it, Akufo-Addo has used it. I was very amazed that they chose the word ‘Akufo-Addo cannot shower. Why couldn’t they say President Mahama couldn’t? “Why couldn’t they say President Mills could not shower in? That is why I said this is pure mischief and propaganda
“I said no president and so why did they pick Akufo-Addo’s name? What is the motivation to pick Akufo-Addo’s name? Were they trying to ridicule him to the people of Ghana?” he said,
His comments come after North Tongu lawmaker, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has 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.