Former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu has criticised President Akufo-Addo for recklessly wasting Ghana’s resources on foreign trips.
He said at a time the country’s economy is struggling, the least President Akufo-Addo would do is to engage in lavish expenditure such as hiring expensive aircrafts to travel outside the country.
The President’s foreign travels have become a subject of public scrutiny for the past month after MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, disclosed that the state had to charter a private jet that costs £15, 000 per hour for his recent trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was expected to brief Parliament on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, about the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips, failed to do so after buying time a few weeks earlier.
However responding to the urgent questions on the use of a private jet for the trips in Parliament Wednesday, Ofori-Atta stated the cost of the President’s domestic and international travels are handled by the National Security Ministry and not his outfit.
He indicated that he did not make any specific releases to the Chief of Staff for the President’s trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
But Ofosu Kwakye believes the Akufo-Addo government, after realising it has misused the peoples’ resources, had to run to the National Security Ministry for cover to prevent Ghanaians from knowing the actual cost.
“I know the amount spent is more than the over 2 million cedis that was disclosed by Okudzeto Ablakwa because when you hire an aircraft, you still pay for it at the time it is packed,” Kwakye Ofosu told Gumbe show host Mugabe Maase.
He reiterated that the Akufo-Addo government was insensitive to the plights of Ghanaians, after slapping them with fuel hikes and increase in taxes a few weeks after they were voted for.
To him, if the president meant well, he could have, as a leader of a country that depends on loans and grants, gone for a relatively affordable flight to save the national purse rather than going for planes that are used by rich Arabian Kings.
The aide to former president John Mahama said his boss, while in power, had to join a passenger aircraft from an official trip back to Ghana.
“I have been with President Mahama on a trip abroad where he flew an economy class from Frankfurt to Accra,” he disclosed.
“The presidential jet had developed a fault and was being repaired. President Mahama joined a passenger plane because that was what was available, from Frankfurt to Accra; I was sitting right behind him. That didn’t change his status as a President. It did not make him [Mahama] any less presidential than President Akufo-Addo,” he said and quizzed why Akufo-Addo could not go in for other options less expensive.
“When he [Mahama] was mentioned as one of the passengers that had joined the flight back home, people applauded him because that was unusual. He could have hired a flight but did not do so because he knew Ghana needed to be built with the little resources than channeling them to himself,” he added. “He could have opted to rent an expensive jet but he did not.”
Kwakye Ofosu is of the view that the Akufo-Addo administration is interested in enriching top officials in government and their few cronies and leave Ghanaians deprived as ever.
By Henryson Okrah|Myxyzonline.com| Ghana