The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has justified the president’s luxurious presidential jet travel.
He says the safety of the president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is paramount in deciding the type of aircraft he uses for his trips.
Responding to an urgent question in Parliament from the North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on the airworthiness of the aircraft, Dominic Nitiwul indicated that the current presidential jet is not suitable for travels because it has limited space and cannot accommodate many passengers.
“The aircraft will carry a load of 11 persons minus crew. When this aircraft is travelling to the eastern part of the USA or Asia, it will not load a crew of more than eight plus the luggage. The Falcon couldn’t have been taken because he would have had to do technical stops which are not desirable, and when he is travelling with more than 20 people like he has been doing for business trips.” The Minister said
He further said that the falcon was inconvenient for that particular trip because It did not have a facility which the President would use to freshen up right before a meeting
“The president would have to go a day ahead because no president can shower in this aircraft. He cannot move from this aircraft straight into a meeting.”
North Tongu lawmaker accused the President, Nana Akufo-Addo spending an amount of GHS 2.8 million during his recent travels to 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.