April 12, 2024
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been in the news following what many describes as his unconscionable decision to acquire a new presidential jet.

Activists of the opposing National Democratic Congress, NDC, and the governing New Patriotic Party, NDC, have since the announcement locked up, working at cross purposes.

In spite of the outcry of North Tongu legislator, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on President Akufo-Addo hiring luxurious jets for his foreign trips instead of using the existing one presidential jet, the Director of Communications at the presidency, Eugene Arhin, says the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has already begun the processes for Ghana to procure a new jet.

“You would recollect that when the government of President Kufuor left office in 2008, it had procured two jets – the current Falcon and a bigger one, but for one reason or the other, the bigger jet was cancelled, and we were left with just one. That has happened, but you will recall that the Defence Minister stated clearly that the government has decided to buy a bigger jet to save us from all these troubles.”

“I don’t want to go into the details, but I am sure that when the Minister gets the opportunity, he will give further information on what the government is doing in that respect, but I am sure of the fact that government is already in the process of getting a bigger jet for use”, Eugene disclosed.

The Minority has said it will resist all attempts by the Akufo-Addo led administration to purchase a bigger presidential jet for the country.

A trip down the memory lane on the acquisition of a presidential jet and the argument put forward by President Nana Akufo-Addo when he represented the people of Abuakwa in parliament on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party.

Below is Nana Akufo-Addo’s contribution on the floor of parliament:

“Nana Akufo-Addo (NPP — Abuakwa): Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker, for the opportunity to contribute to this debate. It is good to see that the Minister and his spin-doctor, the Minister of Communications, are both here to listen to us on this matter. Mr. Speaker, I intend to limit my intervention to two main issues.

Already, my hon. colleague, the Member for Offinso North (Dr. K.K. Apraku), has, in his usual powerful presentation, alerted us to the sensitivity of this transaction; that at a time when there is a crying need for greater public investment in our social services, in our health system; at a time when the students are crying for an increase of public expenditure on tertiary education, they are met with a cry that there is no money but the President is entitled to have spent for himself $19million over the next five years on this aircraft.

Mr. Speaker, if anything demonstrates the need that has been consistently urged from this side of the House for us to review and prioritise public expenditure, this case justifies that call. I have no doubt, Mr. Speaker, that if the priorities are spelt out properly, the purchase of an Executive jet will come very low down on the scale of priorities.

.Mr. Speaker, we have to express our displeasure at the manner in which the powers of this House have been subverted. Mr. Speaker, when we are saying these things, I know that in a matter of a jet, it is an emotional matter for Members of the Majority, especially since it concerns their all-powerful President, Jerry John Rawlings and his comforts.

.Mr. Speaker, the public interest has not benefited from this transaction; constitutional government has not benefited from this transaction. The conduct is one that is reprehensible and however difficult the Majority may find it to deny the President this latest expensive toy that he seeks in the sunset of his career, the public interest is not served by this transaction. And Mr. Speaker, we are going to call upon the House and our colleagues in the Majority to join us in rejecting this transaction.

…Mr. Speaker, by the grace of His Excellency, the all-powerful President. Soon we shall be calling him His Majesty in this House, Mr. Speaker — at his grace. Mr. Speaker, we are saying that this transaction is a most unsatisfactory one.”

Parliamentary Debates (Official Report)

Fourth Series; Vol. 24; No. 21

Tuesday, 15th February, 2000.

Columns: 1653,1654,1682 & 1683.

 

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