Ghana’s government has justified the decision by the country’s president, Nana Akufo-Addo to travel in a £15, 000 an hour private jet for his recent foreign trips.
Media reports of the president’s decision to travel in a private jet instead of the already acquired presidential jet sparked public criticisms.
An opposition lawmaker Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa last week made the revelations about the president spending over $480,000 (Ghc2.8m) on a private jet on his trips to France and Johannesburg in May this year.
Renting the aircraft cost the Ghanaian taxpayer £15,000 an hour, according to the MP.
On Wednesday Ghana’s defence minister, Dominic Nitiwul, justified the president’s decision to charter.
Mr Nitiwul said the safety and security of the president was the ultimate factor in deciding to hire the aircraft.
“The decision to travel to long and multiple destinations such as the president travelling to France, Belgium and South Africa, will always require a larger aircraft even when the Falcon is airworthy…When the President is travelling 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 minister told lawmakers.
The minister noted that traveling on the state jet won’t afford the president the chance to prepare ahead of entering meetings once he disembark from the plane.
Nitiwul said the presidential jet does not have enough space for luggage and a place for the president to shower while onboard.
He added that “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.”