Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, a member of parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee has given a detailed breakdown of how he claims Ghana has had to pay GH¢10million for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s last three trips abroad.
Ablakwa who prefers the expenditure ‘elephantine’ could not fathom why President Akufo-Addo will be engaged in such ‘opulence’ when some sectors of the economy are grappling with lack of finance.
Okudzeto Ablakwa wondered what the reaction would be if same occurred under the John Dramani Mahama administration.
“At US$14,000 an hour, Ghanaians should be expecting to pay a staggering US$616,000; that is an elephantine 3.7million Ghana Cedis by the president’s return,” he said.
“This is the flight distance breakdown: [6 hours to Azores; 1 hour refueling; 10 hours to Houston; 3 hours from Houston to New York; New York to Accra 11 hours plus 1 hour of refueling break; 12 hours of pick up and drop off time — this works out to a total flight time of 44 hours).
“A cumulative sum of President Akufo-Addo’s recent three luxury trips abroad imposes a colossal GHC10million on the suffering Ghanaian taxpayer. Reflect on what GHC10million can do in the ailing health sector or the limping education sector of our dear nation.
“Just imagine for a second if president Mahama had engaged in this wanton wastage just to satisfy his creature comforts when there’s a functioning presidential jet in pristine condition and what would have happened to him!” he said.
Okudzeto Ablakwa surmised that President Akufo-Addo’s preference of ‘luxurious planes’ is not a good motivation for the payment of taxes.
“President Akufo-Addo has only recently courageously launched a campaign targeted at Ghanaian professionals accusing them of not paying taxes; the question is, even if some Ghanaian professionals aren’t paying up their fair share in taxes, why should they be motivated to do anything else when the president doesn’t give a hoot how much he squanders on his vulgar extravagance?
He vowed to continue using Parliament to push for answers on details of the president’s trips to Europe.
“One thing is certain: the unrelenting pursuit of full accountability when Parliament resumes. This debauchery must be stopped!”
Okudzeto Ablakwa in May this year revealed that the president spent GHC3million on his trip to Belgium, France and South Africa.
His trip to the United Kingdom, according to Ablakwa came at GhC3.46m with the most recent one which is to the United States adding up to GHC10m.
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