Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta has said the National Security Minister is best placed to give the needed details of the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
According to him, this is because the President’s travels fall within the remit of National Security.
“Mr Speaker, the Presidents’ domestic and international travels are matters to do with National Security. Therefore, the National Security Minister is best placed to furnish this Honorable House with the details needed,” Mr Ofori-Atta said in Parliament on Wednesday, July 21.
“To facilitate the safe coordination of the President’s travels, domestic and foreign, the Office of Government Machinery and the National Security Secretariat work together to achieve this.”
Mr Ofori-Atta, was on June 7, summoned by the House to provide clarity on the matter, after North Tongu MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, alleged that the President’s trip on the G-Kelt aircraft, instead of the presidential jet, cost £15,000 per hour.
Mr Ablakwa, who doubles as the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, accused President Akufo-Addo of ostentatious spending even as the country goes through economic hardships.
When asked why President Akufo-Addo did not use the Presidential jet for this trip, Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul told Parliament that the Falcon was not conducive and presented many challenges when the President was embarking on his 10-day foreign travel.
Speaking to Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story, Mr Nitiwul explained that, to ensure the safety of the President and his crew, the G-Kelt aircraft was hired.
“What we looked at was the safety of the passengers and the crew, not the amount involved. That is the first thing we look out for before we look at other factors,” he said.