Nitiwul who appeared in Parliament to answer questions posed by Ablakwa said the £15,000 per hour jet was necessitated by the insufficiency of the Presidential Jet.
Presidential jet saga: Does Nana Addo take his bath every six hours? – Ablakwa asks
The North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has asked the Defence Minister if President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo takes his bath every six hours after he [Dominic Nitiwul] justified the use of a private jet by the President on his recent travels to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
He argued that the presidential Jet is not conducive for long-distance travel.
He said the presidential jet is handicapped in handling long-distance travels which will require refueling.
He also revealed that the jet lacks enough luggage capacity as well as a place for the president to shower while onboard the presidential jet.
"The decision to travel to long and multiple destinations such as the president traveling to France, Belgium and South Africa, will always require a larger aircraft even when the Falcon is airworthy…When the President is traveling with more than 20 people for a business trip…you will need more than just a Falcon, otherwise, the people will have to go more than a day ahead of the president to prepare themselves.
"The president himself must go more than a day ahead to prepare himself because no president can shower in this aircraft, so you can’t move from this aircraft straight into a meeting," Nitiwul said in Parliament on Wednesday.
But Ablakwa said it is ridiculous for the Minister to justify the money spent.
Speaking to Accra-based Joy FM, he asked, "when the President is on land, in Accra, working as President, does he take his bath every six and half hours?
"Accra to Paris is just six and half hours, why is having a shower so important [to the President]."
He averred that Ghana bought its presidential jet the same year France bought its presidential jet, that is, 2010, "they are still using the Presidential jet."
"Look, I have been part of a presidential delegation before. When you land for refueling, you are given an option to disembark or stay in the aircraft. Often President Mahama and Mills have stayed on board, so, this COVID excuse is a non-starter...Accra to Paris, you don't need to refuel. The only other challenge will be Paris to Johannesburg. Now, all you do is travel from Paris to Accra; six and half hours, you refuel and you go to Johannesburg for five and half hours. So this COVID excuse is a total non-starter," he added.
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