Despite the admonition by the Akufo Addo administration for Ghanaians to “tighten their belts” due to economic challenges facing the government, it has emerged that the President flies around in a super-luxury chartered private jet instead of the presidential jet.
Reports from credible sources have emerged that President Akufo Addo spends approximately £15,000 an hour to rent a luxury jet Airbus ACJ320neo owned by Acropolis Aviation based in Farnborough, UK.
The aircraft used on President Akufo Addo’s latest nine-day trip to Europe and South Africa is designed with the highest luxurious specification known in the aviation industry. The gold-plated interior is designed by Yves Pickardt of Alberto Pinto Interior Design and it is designed like a hotel penthouse suite with double beds, oak furniture and polished marble bathroom, Whatsup News has gathered.
Flying in that aircraft for the nine-day trip will cost Ghanaians, taxpayers, a whopping £345,000 (approximately GHC 9 million) instead of the GHC 310,500 that it would have cost the presidential entourage if it had simply used the Presidential Jet which was available for the trip.
The brand new private jet was reportedly designed to transport up to 150 people in ordinary circumstances, however, it has been specially configured to accommodate only 17 royal passengers.
“Aviation experts inform me it would have cost Ghana less than 15% of this 2.8million Ghana Cedis had President Akufo-Addo opted for Ghana’s available presidential jet which is in pristine condition. Alternatively, far more affordable travel arrangements are available which could have aligned with the President’s rhetoric for sympathy from the west for African nations,” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the MP for South Tongu and the Ranking Member for the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament.
“…The spectacularly opulent aircraft comes equipped with a lavish master bedroom, an imposing en-suite bathroom, monarchical dining facilities and round the clock IT connectivity…It is an outrage and a blatant betrayal for Ghana to own a presidential aircraft in perfect working condition which was ordered by President Kufuor, used by President Mills and President Mahama; and yet President Akufo-Addo chooses to charter a top-of-the-range luxury aircraft offered by Acropolis Aviation,” Ablakwa fumed.
“Let’s further analyse President Akufo-Addo’s latest trip to Europe: per Flightradar24, the G-KELT aircraft left Accra with the President to Paris on the 16th of May — a 6 and half hour duration. Airlifted the President from Paris to Johannesburg for 11 hours on the 23rd of May. Then Johannesburg to Accra on the 25th of May was a five and half hour flight. This gives us an accumulated flight travel of 23 hours; so at £15,000 an hour, it thus cost us a colossal £345,000. At current exchange, that is a staggering GHS2, 828,432.80,” Mr. Ablakwa calculated the profligate amount blown by President Akufo Addo on a trip where he has gone with begging for foreign donors to forgive Ghana’s extreme debts.
The government secured some £170 million loan from the European Union on the current trip aboard the flying hotel- Airbus ACJ320neo.
While on the trip, the IMF had chided the Akufo Addo government for its excessive borrowing, which now tops 78% of GDP. Total public debt is also grossing above GHC 291 billion, with the current government contribution the highest cumulative borrowing ever in Ghana’s history.
“The irony is that President Akufo-Addo engaged in this fantastic extravagance on his way to France to go beg President Emmanuel Macron for debt cancellation. Needless to add that President Macron does not travel in such splendour. Let us imagine what GHS2.8million could do for our country, particularly considering the mess in multiple sectors which has led to legitimate #FixTheCountryNow agitations by the youth,” Ablakwa noted.