The spokesperson for the Vice President, Gideon Boako, has justified the government’s plan to purchase a new and bigger presidential jet.
The government has announced plans to purchase a bigger jet to cater for presidential travels.
The Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has said the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has already begun the processes for Ghana to procure the new jet.
However, the decision hasn’t gone down well with many Ghanaians, with some calling for the plan to be aborted.
But Dr. Boako says it is the National Security outfit which advised that the current Presidential jet isn’t safe for travels beyond four to six hours.
An advice, he said, has necessitated President Akufo-Addo’s use of chartered flights for longer trips.
According to him, President Akufo-Addo uses the presidential jet for trips within the subregion and only charters for foreign trips beyond the earlier stated duration.
“The President at all materials times whether he was traveling within the continent across the oceans was using the presidential jet. President Akufo-Addo prior to September 2018 had consistently used the presidential jet until the jet developed some faults and the National Security advised that the presidential jet in such a state will be not proper for travels across the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans.”
“So the President uses it (Presidential jet) anytime he is traveling within ECOWAS. It is only when he is going on a long haul journey which is beyond four to six hours that he uses chartered flights.”
Dr. Boako spoke on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday, October 2, 2021.
Meanwhile, on the same show, the National Democratic Congress’ (NDC) Communications Officer, Sammy Gyamfi, slammed what he called President Akufo-Addo’s penchant for “unnecessary luxuries”.
He maintains that there is nothing wrong with the current jet, despite purported security concerns raised about it.
“He wants to live like an Arabian king, a Russian oligarch in these times of difficulty,” Mr. Gyamfi said.
He felt the moves for a new jet were at odds with the economic conditions in the country.
“You cannot be heaping taxes on people, telling people to tighten their belt because we are living in difficult times, and you want to live in luxury. That is unacceptable,” Mr. Gyamif said.
Already, NDC MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has filed urgent questions demanding disclosure of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign trips without the use of the official presidential jet.