‘Ghana’s Falcon Unfit’

*For presidential travels’

Story: Atta Kwaku BOADI

Former  UN Advisor on Good Governance,  Professor Baffour  Agyeman-Dua  says  Ghana’s Presidential Jet Falcon 900 EX-Easy is not good for long  distance  travels.

Whiles  he supported the call on the  current administration  to account  for the cost incurred by  the State  on each travel  President  Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo makes abroad,he was against the use of the Falcon jet by President Akufo-Addo.

Prof.Agyeman-Dua who claimed he had  inspected the Falcon jet  for academic purpose,  stressed  that  the country’s presidential jet was not good for President Akufo-Addo.

“Accountability  is part of good governance,  therefore the call on the ruling government  to let  Ghanaians know how much it spends on Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips is in order”,  he said.

In  recent past president Akufo-Addo’s  travels  had received massive criticisms.

He was alleged to have spent  £15,000 per hour on 10-day foreign travel  to France  and South  Africa.

The Ranking Member of  Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel  Okudzeto  Ablakwa  has been on the forefront ,demanding accountability from Jubilee House on how it spends the tax payers’ money on  the  the president’s foreign travels.

Commenting  on the two questions  filed by Mr  Okudzeto in Parliament ,demanding disclosure  of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent foreign trips without using the official presidential jet, Prof.Agyeman-Dua  who is also the Chief Executive Officer of The John A. Kuffour Foundation,  lauded  the patriotism of Mr Okudzeto who is also Member of Parliament(MP)  for North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region.

According  to  the co-founder of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana),”  value for money is important in this circumstance. It is important we know how much the president’s foreign trips bring to us”.

He made these observations at the weekend on Amansan Television’s (ATV) political show, ‘Kanawu’.

He was, however,quick to say that  the privacy of the president including his security detail  must not be made public.

His comment  was in support of the MP for Abetifi, Bryan Acheampong who is also the Chairman  of  the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament  that  President Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels must be kept secret.

Mr. Acheampong, who was once a Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior, believes this will enhance the President’s security, as it will frustrate attempts to track his movements.

“My advice to the National Security Minister is that he should reclassify the President’s travels; the present and past, from confidential to secret or top secret. We have to be sensitive.”

“If the President decides that he needs to make a quick trip to Mali, even if he decides to go with the presidential flight, using flight tracker, you will know this is the tail number of Ghana’s presidential flight, and you are able to track it. Is that how you want to expose our President?” he was reported to have quizzed.

The governance expert,  nonetheless,  advised the president to cut down his foreign trips so aa to save the country money.

Also commenting on the same issue on the  show, the 2020  running mate of  the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) ,Kofi Asamoah-Siaw ,supported the call for the disclosure of the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s  trips abroad.

“Good governance is about accountability and transparency,so it is not out of place to ask  how much the State spends on our president’s trips abroad”,he  said.

Like Prof.Agyeman-Dua he was also against the disclosure of his security detail.

Pix:Prof. Balfour Agyeman-Dua, fmr UN Advisor on Good Governance

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