President Akufo-Addo may be compelled to use commercial flights for all his foreign travels for the next four months as JoyNews has been informed that the presidential jet is due for major repair works.
According to the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, it would be flown to France, where it will be until at least October, 2022.
“By the end of this month, we will not have a presidential jet because the one we have is going to France for re-service; it’s one of the reasons the President will not use it for four to five months,” he said in an interview with JoyNews’ Evans Mensah.
Since last year, the Minority in Parliament had criticised the President for using what they describe as luxurious private jets for his travels when the official presidential jet was still in good condition.
But the Minister stated that the President has been using the presidential jet for all travels within Africa and West Africa.
“We only advised the President not to use it for very long journeys but all the movements within Africa, all the short movements within West Africa, that’s the plane the President uses,” the Bimbilla legislator added.
The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee has been condemning the President for using a chartered luxurious private jet for his foreign trips.
On February 12, this year, he alleged that the President spent over GH¢4 million on his 10-day trip to some European countries and Guyana.
He has accused the government of wasting taxpayers’ money and called on Ghanaians to hold government accountable.
In May, 2021, the MP stirred controversy when he alleged that the nation paid £15,000 an hour as the President opted for luxurious aircraft instead of using the presidential jet on his travels to France, Belgium and South Africa.
He subsequently filed a question and Parliament summoned the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, to answer questions on the cost and why Ghana’s presidential jet was not used.
The Minister justified the President’s decision to rent the aircraft, arguing that the capacity of the presidential aircraft can no longer carry the President’s entourage.
He told the House that the Finance Minister is best to provide other details regarding the cost incurred on the trip.