General

Presidential jet not on the priority list of Ghana Air Force – Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has criticised the claim by the Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul that the purchase of a presidential aircraft is paramount for government business.

Answering questions on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 concerning the purchase of a presidential jet, the Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul said the procurement of a new aircraft is necessary, particularly in the absence of Ghana Airways.

According to Dominic Ntiwul, the government is currently holding consultations on the purchase of the aircraft with the likelihood of backtracking on the procurement if need be.

He noted that the government has also contacted Airbus and Boeing on the purchase of the aircraft.

But speaking with Evans Mensah on Top Story, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa noted that the Ghana Air Force has not prioritised purchase of a new aircraft.

He said the Ghana Air Force together with other security organisations and ranking members of key committees in Parliament had an extensive briefing on the needs of the security operatives in the country. However, the Air Force never mentioned the need for a new aircraft.

“I have sat in sessions where the Ghana Air Force has given us a list of what they need and executive jet is not even in their priorities. This is an Air Force that needs fighter jets, this is an Air Force that needs a lot of retooling, a lot of re-equipping for our troops.

Carrying the President is very low down the ladder, particularly when only ten years ago, we purchased a presidential jet. If we did not have a presidential jet, the Falcon 900EXE is available. It’s in pristine condition, there’s nothing wrong with the Falcon,” he said.

Mr. Ablakwa intimated that the purchase of aircraft at the moment is needless.

He urged the government to halt consultations on the procurement of the aircraft and suspend engagement with Boeing and Airbus.

“This is neither here nor there. The point that it is long-term and will arrive in 2025 or 2026. That’s not the fundamental issue, the fundamental issue is that you are going to commit the Ghanaian people to this extra expenditure which is needless at this time, totally needless.  We are saying that you have no business in consultations. Just stop it. This cannot be a priority, just suspend this. This cannot be the protection of the public purse,” he stated.

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