• Tue. Aug 9th, 2022

”I pose like Businessmen calling companies” -Ablakwa on Presidential Jet Saga

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for North Tongu, has expressed concern with the allocation of funds for the President’s travels.

That money, he claims, could have been utilized to pay the Nations Builders Corps (NABCO), who protested the arrears owed to them during the nonviolent “yentua demonstration.”

According to the MP, the President spent a total of GHC4.9 billion during his 10-day tour.

He claimed that he learned about the President’s spending by calling major corporations that the President had visited.

“I pretend to be a businessman and call these companies; occasionally, if I want to speak (LSDIs), I send them emails and they give me figures because they are in business.”

During an interview with GTV Breakfast, the MP stated that the money spent on the extravagant vacations might have been utilized to pay 7,000 Nabco trainees.

“We compensated the NABCO trainees who were demonstrating GHC700. “That GHC4.9 million is enough to pay for 7,000 of them for a month,” he remarked.

Former President Kufour, according to the MP, never chartered an airplane and instead flew commercial first-class. He noted that if President Akufo Addo does not want to go by jet, he has other options, such as flying first class, as other presidents do, mentioning President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent commercial journey on Facebook as an example.

The North Tongu MP believes that Ghana has a working Presidential Jet and dismisses reports that it is uncomfortable.

He claimed that other presidents have applied to use Ghana’s private jet and had no problems doing so, citing the Liberian, Guinean, and Sierra Leonean presidents as examples of authorities who had used the Presidential Jet in question.

“If the presidential jet is not suitable for purpose, if the presidential jet is not comfy, if the presidential jet is not spacious, if you can’t stretch a leg, if you can’t rest, people should cease doing this business.”

“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo should use Ghana’s Presidential jet because it is in good condition,” he said.

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu has gone through the Parliamentary Hansards for the year 2000, when the President was still a lawmaker, and revealed the President’s ardent opposition to the purchase of a Presidential Jet by the late President Jerry John Rawlings’ administration.

“Why charter an expensive jet when the economy is in trouble?” he wondered.

Mr. Ablakwa believes the government should concentrate on finding a solution to Ghanaians’ economic problems, citing examples from the United States, France, and other nations where Presidential Jets have stayed in service to Presidents after they have passed away.

“We were informed the Presidential Jet has a twenty-year lifespan. So you have from now to 2030 if you take 2010 as the year the plane arrived plus twenty years. Now we all know that if you maintain this aircraft properly and take excellent care of it, you can expect it to last at least twenty years, if not more. “We love to know that our Ghana Airforce, the communication squadron, which is in charge of Presidential jets, is renowned around the world for their high maintenance culture,” he said.

Mr. Ablakwa sparked outrage last year when he claimed that President Akufo-Addo spent GH2.8 million on a private jet on trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa at the expense of tax-paying Ghanaians.

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