Akufo-Addo’s Luxury Airliner Is Alternative To “Trotro” Presidential Jet

AVION BASEL A. PINTO 2020 / LUC BOEGLY 2020

…Accra digital center boss

Ghana’s Presidential jet, the falcon 900 EX Easy Aircraft, is a Trotro, hence why President Akufo-Addo blew some GHC 3 million on a top-of-the-range luxury private jet on his 9-day trip to Europe and South Africa, says the Managing Director of the Accra Digital Center Kofi Ofosu Nkansah.

The Akufo-Addo appointee took to Facebook to claim in a response to concerns about profligacy raised by the public and the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, over the President’s monarchical splurge on the luxurious private jet from Acropolis Aviation.

“Dear Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, I have read your complaint about the President renting a bigger aircraft for long flights because it’s more expensive than using our Presidential jet. What you refuse to acknowledge is that our Presidential jet which was bought many years ago, is not convenient for long-hour flights,” Ofosu Nkansah said.

“The President travels to work on behalf of the People of Ghana. He cannot be using a small aircraft in an 11-hour flight from France to South Africa. Small aircraft are not for long flights. It will even run out of fuel. I know he has tried it in the past and stopped a number of times to refuel but is that the best we want for our President? To be stopping like trotro to refuel. The safety of the President should be our utmost concern in such a discussion. Thank you.”

Interestingly, President Akufo-Addo’s predecessors had used falcon 900 EX Easy Aircraft presidential jet which had been purchased by former President Kufuor in 2008 but delivered to Ghana in 2010.

Ex-President Kufuor had acquired the falcon 900 EX to replace its predecessor, Fokker aircraft, which had been in service for 37 years and was nicknamed the “flying coffin”.

Akufo-Addo’s immediate predecessor, John Mahama, had been known to travel on that same Presidential jet wherever he went and was famous for ensuring that everything that was served on the jet during travels, including entertainment, was Ghanaian.

On Thursday, May 27, 2021, the North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa in a statement vowed to file a question in Parliament over the decision to hire the luxurious aircraft from Acropolis for the President at a rate of a whopping £15,000 per hour.

“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 the current exchange, that is a staggering GHS2, 828,432.80,” Ablakwa revealed.

He had lamented that “President Akufo-Addo [who] has been a leading voice for debt forgiveness in the international arena has been imposing additional regressive taxes back home, with the justification that the economy isn’t in a good shape.”

“Sadly, he consistently fails to lead by example in a period of austerity where his government is appealing to struggling public sector workers to lower-wage increase expectations,” he wrote.

According to him, President Akufo-Addo engaged in this fantastic extravagance on his way to France to go beg President Emmanuel Macron for debt cancellation. 

“I have therefore filed an urgent question in Parliament to compel the Akufo-Addo administration to be accountable to the Ghanaian people on this matter and ultimately to prick their conscience to end this obscene profligacy at this time of considerable economic hardships,” Ablakwa wrote.

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