The MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has claimed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has spent a whopping 3.46 million GH on a private jet on his recent trips to England and Germany.
After massive public outrage over the president’s decision to spend over 2.4 million Ghana cedis on private jets in May, the North Tongu MP has alleged that on his recent trips the president rented another luxury jet that was taxpayers’ over Cost £ 15,000 an hour.
Ablakwa said in a report on his Facebook page that the President’s recent trips totaled the whopping $ 574,000.00.
“Using the conservative hourly rate of $ 14,000 an hour, the two trips to the UK and Germany, which require around 28 hours of round-trip travel plus an additional 13 hours of pickup and drop-off, the taxpayer was charged again with the whopping tune of 574,000 .00 US dollars. At the current exchange rate that’s an unbelievable 3.46 million Ghana Cedis. “
Below is the full description of Okudzeto Ablakwa
It has become absolutely essential to demand a national policy for presidential travel, similar to that in other jurisdictions.
This is extremely important to avoid the willful abuse of discretion by President Akufo-Addo to the detriment of the suffering taxpayer.
In many other jurisdictions, presidential travel is governed by strict policies that require presidents to use presidential aircraft for official purposes. In other countries, such as the US, presidents are even required to reimburse the state for costs when presidential aircraft are used for private business – such private business deals include political campaigns and political fundraisers.
Obviously, richer countries, on whose benevolence we depend to help us with COVID-19 vaccines, as our President implored the Germans a few days ago, are undoubtedly doing much better than us to ensure that taxpayers’ money is not used to supply the lavish lifestyles from insensitive leaders.
From our continuous monitoring, President Akufo-Addo still prefers to use VIP charter jets for his European trips, although he is in firm possession of Ghana’s presidential jet – the Dassault Falcon 900-EXE, which remains in pristine condition and flies to all of these non-stop can European travel destinations.
Since Ghana received that President Kufuor ordered Falcon in 2010, both President Mills and President Mahama have used the long-haul aircraft for all presidential trips.
The records indicate that there were only two cases where the Ghana Air Force communications wing requested alternative arrangements for President Mahama as the presidential jet had been flown to France for routine maintenance.
It’s important to note that these two alternative arrangements were unmistakably humble and nothing compared to the current president’s obscene display of tastes.
Our latest oversight shows that following the public outrage following President Akufo-Addo’s lavish expedition in May this year, we chose the world’s most expensive and extravagant private charter aircraft – the Airbus ACJ320neo, which costs its customers no less than £ 15,000 each Hour leasing, he has since stayed away from this particular aircraft, and for very obvious reasons. This development may be a minor victory for the Ghanaian people, one might argue.
Still, I’m sorry to have to disappoint you. president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo can’t shake his insatiable appetite for ultra-luxury charter jets at the expense of the struggling Ghanaian taxpayer.
He remains completely impervious to the backlash and outcry from Ghanaians who are demanding that he keep his own promise to protect public funds by using the presidential jet, which is a much cheaper and safer option.
For his most recent trips to Great Britain on July 27, 2021 for the Global Education Summit and last week’s state visit to Germany, he blatantly refused to take the presidential jet. Instead, he opted for another top of the line VIP luxury charter jet known to industry players as the Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3.
The Luxembourg-based aircraft is registered as an LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg. The manufacturer’s serial number (MSN) is 62515 with the line number 5659.
The 19-seat luxury jet with HEX code 4D0213 is VIP configured, has 2x CFMI engines and was delivered to the current operator in November 2015.
Very few luxury jets boast of its features. Manufacturers say the cabin is divided into several sections for exceptional comfort. It offers a VIP lounge to relax in, five star restaurants, a regal master bedroom, a cinema room specially designed for watching movies and a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and of course just as you correctly predicted, complete with a luxury shower (apparently the sky bath continues unabated – all royalties were paid to Defense Minister Nitiwul).
If our government deals directly with the operators of the LX-DIO, it costs the Ghanaian taxpayer at least 14,000 US dollars an hour. However, if our government leases the planes through brokers or middlemen, as is known in many sectors, you shouldn’t be surprised that the Ghanaian taxpayer is billed between $ 18,000 and $ 22,000 an hour.
With the conservative hourly rate of $ 14,000 an hour, the two trips to the UK and Germany requiring a round-trip trip of around 28 hours plus an additional 13 hours of pickup and drop-off time, the taxpayer has once again been on the colossal tune of US $ 574,000.00. At the current exchange rate, that’s an unbelievable 3.46 million Ghanaian cedis.
This ruthless rape of the public coffers just to the comfort of a president opting for a vulgar display that will make even Arab kings jealous cannot continue. For this reason, I believe that the time has come for this country to urgently formulate a policy on presidential travel.
We either have a presidential jet or we don’t. Even more, the president’s ruthless decision not to use the presidential jet, which cost the Ghanaian taxpayer under President Kufuor around 37 million US dollars in purchase price and which we continue to maintain at high costs for the Ghanaian taxpayer, while His Excellency “Nana Showboy “In ultra-luxury VIP charter planes at sky high prices can no longer be left to the discretion of an immoderate president and the few politicians around him.
It is really shocking, I have to say, that the Ghanaian people can be treated with such contempt for the President when the dust has not yet settled on the Airbus ACJ320neo Sky Bath scandal which is now infamous for ministerial acrobatics in Parliament Just to cover up the President and yet a leader who describes himself as the main protector of public money, insults Ghanaians with such shameless intransigence.
Well, for his information, the battle for accountability on the previous voyage is not over; they were only saved temporarily by the bell because of the break in parliament. President Akufo-Addo can rest assured that this latest misconduct will also be subject to surgical scrutiny by the NDC caucus in Parliament when the August House resumes.
The Akufo-Addo / Bawumia administration must rule with a clear conscience and with real sincerity. How can you get protesting # FixTheCountry youths, coveted health care workers on the front lines, organized unions, including agitating members of UTAG, GNAT, NAGRAT, Senior Staff Association-University of Ghana (SSA-UoG), Federation of Universities Senior Staff Association, GMA and ask a host? of others to share the burdens and accept a paltry 4% wage increase paid in installments and yet indulge in such cruel lavish extravagance?
If the president has no use for Ghana’s presidential jet, he might as well sell it so we can at least raise some money to buy vaccines.
A President’s National Travel Policy is a MUST and we need it NOW!