Director of Communications at the Presidency, Eugene Arhin, has announced government plans to purchase a new presidential jet to cater for presidential travels.
Mr. Arhin made the remarks when he was addressing journalists at the Jubilee House on Monday, September 27, 2021.
He said, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has already begun the processes for Ghana to procure the new jet.
President Nana Akufo-Addo has come under fire from the Member of Parliament from North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, who has accused him of wasting taxpayer’s money on hiring luxurious jets for his foreign trips instead of using the existing one presidential jet.
The government had explained that the current presidential jet was not convenient for official trips as it couldn’t take more numbers and had limited facilities for the comfort of a president.
“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,” Mr. Eugene said.
“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”, he disclosed.
The debate on the presidential jet was renewed recently after Okudzeto Ablakwa, disclosed that he had filed two other urgent questions demanding disclosure of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s trip to the United States.
Mr. Ablakwa sought answers as to why the President allegedly chartered a luxurious jet that cost GH¢3.7 million for his recent trip.
The Ranking Member had earlier alleged that the President spent an amount of GH¢2.8 million on his earlier travels to only South Africa and France using the services of a private jet instead of the presidential jet.
The Finance Ministry however avoided the question on the expenditure, and said that information ought to be provided by the National Security Ministry.
In his latest claim, Mr. Ablakwa said President Nana Akufo-Addo’s three recent foreign trips cost the taxpayer GH¢10 million.
But Eugene Arhinhas at previous press engagements challenged the MP’s claims, describing them as false.