Ghana in the diplomatic circles has become a subject of mockery or ridicule because of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s lavish spending on needless luxurious things which does not benefit the ordinary Ghanaian, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said.
According to him, upon all the lavish spending, President Akufo-Addo together with his colleague African Heads of State keep begging the West for debt cancellation.
“You think President Macron, whose government would have given us the landing rights and the airspace permission to enter his territory, you think they didn’t see this or you think they don’t know this?” Ablakwa quizzed.
He added, “there is a lot we know in diplomatic circles; the behind the scenes talk that I cannot necessarily put out here but we’re becoming a laughing stock.”
“People are saying you come to us, you say you need help, debt cancellation, but our president does not engage in such profligacy. They do not live in an extravagant way and for £15,000 an hour, the 23 hours that we used the aircraft, we have spent £345,000 at the current exchange rate, that is a staggering GH¢2,828,432.80.
“I have not even added other incidental costs. I know for example that they kept the aircraft overnight in South Africa, so we had to pay the hotel bill for the crew among others, as well as the landing charges,” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa explained on Joy FM monitored by GhanaWeb.
He stressed that, if the President had used a chartered commercial flight just because he is travelling for a long distance, the taxpayer would not have paid close to the total amount of his trip.
“We are talking about £15,000 an hour, conservative estimate and 23 hours…in the fleet, if you don’t want to fly commercial, and you want to use a chartered flight; in the fleet are very very comfortable which you can describe as luxurious. Our President is the first person to even use this aircraft since it received its recent luxurious resurfacing from Switzerland,” Ablakwa noted.
Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is expecting the Defence Minister to respond to his urgent question in less than two weeks per the standing orders of Parliament.
President Akufo-Addo has been accused by the MP for blowing a whopping £345,000 i.e. GH¢2,828,432.80 at the current exchange rate on his recent 9-day visit to France, Belgium, South Africa and back to Ghana.
The North Tongu MP said he came by the total amount through his findings and calculations and it was spent on a private luxurious aircraft that cost the Ghanaian taxpayer £15,000 an hour.