The issue of the cost of Presidential travels has been the subject matter of several conversations nationwide and has generated wild controversies for a while now, with many citizens taking advantage of the various social media platforms to express their eagerness to know how much the President’s travel costs them as taxpayers.
However, after seven months of grand government evasiveness and conspiracy to conceal, National Security Minister, Hon. Albert Kan-Dapaah has finally showed up in Parliament today, December 17, to respond to Hon. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa’s question on the cost of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s sybaritic chartered travels.
In August 2021, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency, Hon Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa disclosed that the trips of President Akufo-Addo on the hired jet costs the state £14,000 per hour.
Earlier this year, the North Tongu Lawmaker stirred controversy when he alleged that President Akufo-Addo hired a private jet at the cost of ¢2.8 million on his travels to France, Belgium and South Africa at the expense of tax-burned Ghanaians.
When the National Security Minister finally appeared before the House today to respond to Hon. Okudzeto’s questions, he made it clear that for security reasons, he can’t reveal the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s travels by private jet
According to him, the information that the North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is seeking about the President’s travels is an undisclosable secret.
“Mr Speaker, recent official travels to France, Belgium, and South Africa by President Akufo-Addo are paid for out of the operational funds from the Ministry of National Security. Mr Speaker payments out of the ministry’s operational funds are glued with rules of confidentiality and state secrecy and it is not the normal practice…to make the suggested disclosures,” the National Security Minister said.
Reacting to the National Security Minister’s refusal to disclose the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s chattered flights, Hon. Okudzeto stated that the minister’s move is a despicable disregard for democratic accountability.
According to him, cost of presidential travels are not state secrets but “the Akufo-Addo administration is embarrassingly allergic to accountability and yet loves the unbridled imposition of draconian taxes, including the obnoxious E-Levy, apparently to satisfy its obscene creature comforts.”
“This shall not be the end of the road in our quest for full accountability as is our constitutional right, and particularly as President Akufo-Addo obstinately continues to charter ultra-luxury jets at US$14,000.00 an hour when Ghana has a Presidential Jet in pristine condition,” he stated.