Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, had noted that Ghana is having difficulties in meeting the assurances the country gave for which the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) decided to set up its Secretariat in Accra.
He stated that the country assured of hotels and other accommodations, cars and a few other things but is unable to meet the requirement as expected.
He was speaking on Good Evening Ghana while making a case for the purchase of a new presidential jet.
“We went out there to project ourselves as a country that can handle the continental free trade area. We said we will give them all the courtesies they are looking for and that we have the facilities to host them – cars, hotels, accommodation, and every other thing. Today, we are struggling to meet that. The continental free trade area has requested, three times from the people of Ghana, to give them an appropriate aircraft and we couldn’t. A lot of their officials come to Ghana so when they have serious officials coming and we couldn’t. All the three times they requested this falcon was not available, “he said.
He further revealed that Ghana has spent over 50million United States Dollars in the last 10 years alone to rent aircraft.
“We are spending more money to charter aircraft than 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.”
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.