Ghana needs National Presidential Travel Policy; cost of hiring jets too much – Ablakwa

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Ranking Member of Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is advocating a policy on Presidential Travel in the country.

This comes amid claims that President Akufo-Addo hired another private jet for his recent foreign trip to UK and Germany.

According to the North Tongu MP who made the latest allegations, the trips on the hired luxurious aircraft cost the ordinary Ghanaian taxpayer £14,000 per hour and a cumulative ¢3.46 million.

Akufo-Addo hired another £14k per hour private jet for recent trip to UK and Germany – Ablakwa

Taking to his Facebook page, Mr Ablakwa said despite the public outrage that greeted the President’s earlier foreign trips, the President had opted to travel on one of the world’s most expensive and most extravagant private charter aircraft.

“It has become absolutely imperative to demand a national policy on presidential travels, akin to what pertains in other jurisdictions. This is most crucial to avoid the wanton abuse of discretion by President Akufo-Addo at the expense of the suffering taxpayer.”

“In many other jurisdictions, presidential travels are regulated by strict policies which mandate presidents to use presidential aircraft for official purposes. Indeed, in other countries such as the USA, presidents are obliged to reimburse the state if presidential aircraft are used for private business — that private business includes political campaigns and political fundraising events.”

Ofori-Atta to answer for Akufo-Addo’s recent trips in Parliament today

“Clearly, richer countries whose benevolence we are depending on to come to our aid with COVID-19 vaccines as our president pleaded with the Germans a few days ago are undoubtedly doing much better than us in ensuring that taxpayer funds are not dissipated in catering for the lavish lifestyles of insensitive leaders.”

“From our continuous monitoring, President Akufo-Addo still prefers to use VIP charter jets for his European travels despite being in firm possession of Ghana’s presidential jet – the Dassault Falcon 900-EXE which remains in pristine condition and can fly non-stop to all those European destinations.”

Giving details of the private jet hired by the President, Mr Ablakwa said it boasts of a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, a royal master bedroom, cinema room specially delineated for watching movies which is a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and complete with a luxury shower.
“Its manufacturers say the cabin is divided into multiple sections to guarantee exceptional comfort. It provides a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, Royal Master bedroom, Cinema Room specially delineated for watching movies which is a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and of course just as you predicted correctly, complete with a luxury shower (apparently, the sky bath continues unabated – all royalties paid to Defence Minister, Nitiwul).”
“If our government is dealing directly with the operators of the LX-DIO then it is costing the Ghanaian taxpayer at least US$14,000 per hour. However, if our government is leasing the aircraft via brokers or middlemen as it has gained notoriety in many sectors, you shouldn’t be surprised the Ghanaian taxpayer is being billed between US$18,000 and US$22,000 per hour.”
SourceABC News

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