Alban Bagbin, The Speaker of Parliament of Ghana, has shorn of any complicity in the postponing of the question on the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s travels to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, was arranged before parliament to answer the said question on Thursday after Dominic Nitiwul, Defense Minister Ghana, answered to the first part of the question on the safety of the Presidential jet on Wednesday.
According to Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa, the finance minister had requested additional days to answer the question, although he had been notified for more than two weeks.
Speaking on the floor of the house, Alban Bagbin said
“Let me disagree with what has been put on social media that the honorable speaker rejected the questions. There is no iota of truth in that publication. The questions were admitted and forwarded to the ministers and the ministers have indicated to me their readiness to come and answer the questions, so it will be no problem. The business committee should do the right thing and get them programmed for the minister to come and answer.”
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Okudzeto Ablakwa in an earlier tweet, also denied reports that the Speaker of Parliament had rejected his questions.
“Kindly disregard and treat with contempt the fake news in circulation, claiming that Rt. Honourable speaker has rejected my urgent questions to the Defence and Minister of Finance on the state of the presidential jet and the total cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent profligate luxury travels to France, Belgium and South Africa respectively.”
Mr. Nitiwul, who appeared in Parliament on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, justified why President Akufo-Addo didn’t use the presidential jet for the trips saying the ultimate factor for such a decision was “safety”.
“This aircraft will carry a load of 11 persons minus the crew. When this aircraft is travelling to the eastern part of the USA or Asia, it will not load a crew of more than eight plus the luggage. So, it depends on where it is going. Secondly, I have also said the aircraft has to do refuelling stops, and also in this COVID-19, when you are travelling to multiple destinations like the president’s recent travel, the Falcon couldn’t have been taken because he would have had to do technical stops which are not desirable, and when he is travelling with more than 20 people like he has been doing for business trips that brought huge sums of money for this country, he will need more than just a Falcon, otherwise, the others would have to go a day ahead before the president to prepare themselves.”
However, the explanation has been criticized.
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