Finance Minister asks for more time to account for Akufo-Addo’s foreign travels expenses

The Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has disclosed that he needs ample time to appear before Parliament to answer questions on the cost of the recent travels by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Ghana's Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.

According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the lawmaker who asked for the accountability, the Minister didn’t show up on his scheduled date.

Ken Ofori-Atta was scheduled to appear before the house on Thursday, June 17 to answer the questions.

Speaking to Citi News, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said he will not back down in his quest to establish the true cost of the President’s trips to the Ghanaian taxpayer.

“The Minister for Finance has had ample notice of my question. He has had more than two weeks to prepare for this question but what we know for certain is that our resolve to pursue this matter is unwavering. We will continue with strong determination in the interest of accountability, in the interest of good governance, and in the interest of protecting the public purse.”

President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips to France, Belgium and South Africa have attracted a public outcry especially from the Minority.

They claim his hiring of a private jet for the trips comes at a huge cost to the taxpayer amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul justified the need for the private jets when he appeared before Parliament on Wednesday.

According to Mr. Nitiwul, the ultimate factor in deciding the type of aircraft the president uses for his trips is “safety”.

He insisted that the challenges with the current presidential jet, such as the limited passengers it can carry, the number of times required for refuelling on a trip, and luggage capacity, among other things, makes the aircraft not fit for purpose.

He concluded that no president can even take his shower on the aircraft when the need arises.

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