Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Member of Parliament for North Tongu has taken to social media to issue a counter-argument to claims by the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul that cost does not feature prominently in selecting an aircraft for President Akufo-Addo and other state officials.
Nitiwul told Parliament on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, that the safety of the president is the most important element of consideration in the choice of an aircraft for his trips.
He sought to suggest cost ought not to be a decisive factor as the safety of the persons who will occupy the craft should take precedent.
“The choice of an aircraft is not the issue of resources. The choice of an aircraft for a country is about the safety of the crew and the VIP travelling. If Parliament writes to the Ministry of Defence for an aircraft for a trip as you have been doing, when I’m looking for an aircraft for you the first thing I will consider is your safety.
“A faster aircraft is $10,000 so here from to Tamale it will cost the government $10,000 but if I’m to give you a helicopter, it will cost $5,000.
The priority is safety first and many countries including Senegal has two aircraft which are like the ones the president has used,” he said.
Taking his Twitter handler, Ablakwa questioned why the minister will make such statement.
He tweeted “How on Earth can the Defence Minister tell Parliament cost doesn’t matter in considering which aircraft to charter for the President! We are really doomed!!!’ he posted.
Dominic Nitiwul had to make an appearance in Parliament after Ablakwa raised alarm over a $15,000-per-hour trip flown by President Akufo-Addo to France, Belgium and South Africa.
Ablakwa felt the plane was luxurious and the cost involved was too much for a country grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
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