Host of Dwaboase on Power 97.9 FM, Prince Kwame Minkah has descended heavily on Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul for justifying why President Akufo-Addo spent over GHS 2 million on a foreign trip last month.
The Minister jumped to the defense of the President’s decision to charter a private jet that costs £15, 000 per hour for his recent foreign trips when he was answering an urgent question on the floor of Parliament filed by North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
Ablakwa, who had alleged that Akufo-Addo spent a whopping Ghc2.8m after renting an aircraft to France and Johannesburg, had filed the question to ascertain why the government would spend such a huge amount on a luxurious venture while the country’s economy is struggling.
Ablakwa said Akufo-Addo left Accra for Paris on the 16th of May and then to Paris where he proceeded to Johannesburg before returning to Accra on the 25th May 2021, adding that the government spent £15,000 every hour.
In his estimation, the 23 hours president Akufo-Addo spent on the jet accumulated a total of £345,000 which amounts to GHS2,828,432.80.
Addressing Parliament Wednesday afternoon, Nitiwul, MP for Bimbilla, observed the presidential jet bought by the Ghanaian taxes was not fit for purpose.
“In fact, the president would also have to go a day ahead because no president can shower in this aircraft. He cannot move from this aircraft straight into a meeting,” Nitiwul disclosed to the surprise of many.
The Minister also stated the current Presidential jet lacks the requisite space for the president’s entourage during such travels, luggage capacity and the number of times required for refueling on a trip could not be overlooked.
He indicated the president’s safety accounted for the decision of the government to go for the aircraft, that has been described by some Ghanaians as lavish.
The Minister’s response to his colleague has drawn heavy criticism from a section of Ghanaians and the opposition political parties alike.
Most Ghanaians took to social media to lambast Nitiwul and the government while others mocked the president for the reason to rent the luxurious aircraft.
But on his programme Thursday morning, Kwame Minkah lashed out at the minister for defending “nasty acts.”
“The president is hiring an expensive airplane at this time our economy is in shambles, yet we have a Defence Minister who comes to Parliament to defend this. When you are a Defence Minister you don’t come defending these nasty things,” he fumed.
The firebrand broadcaster could not come to terms with why the Akufo-Addo government recently urged Ghanaians to embrace the new taxes that had been imposed by the NPP administration and turn around to use the taxes for luxurious trips.
“Isn’t it baffling that at a time your government has told us to tighten our belts; at a time you have drastically slashed budgetary allocation to certain key sectors of the economy, our president is seen hiring an aeroplane that is costing the taxpayer over 2 million? and they are telling us the presidential jet we have, the Falcon, does not have a place for a president to shower so we need to spend millions to get him an aircraft that will offer him such comfort,” he observed while condemning the government.
He further asked, “What was the benefit we had as a country when he [Akufo-addo] travelled on the luxury plane?”
To him, the government must be modest in its spending so the citizens do not hesitate to pay taxes for the development of the country.