The Ghana Armed Forces is requesting a new multifunctional new aircraft that can carry between 70 and 100 passengers.

This comes on the back of controversies on government’s hiring of an airplane for the president’s recent travel which the minority in Parliament alleges cost ¢2.8 million on his recent foreign trip.

But answering questions in parliament on why that was necessary, Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, says it would be important for the state to purchase a new aircraft that can carry a better payload.

“The Ghana Air Force of Ghana is once again requesting for a multi-functional aircraft to add to its inventory as a requisite command and control asset, to be able to connect Ghana’s National Security to diplomacy,” he said.

The Defence Minister also justified the decision to hire the aircraft arguing the safety of the President should come before the cost.

Meanwhile, NDC MP for North Tongu Okudzeto Ablakwah in whose name the question stood in parliament says his side was not convinced by the answers provided by the Finance Minister.

“After eight hours, you need to refuel. From Accra to France is six and half hours so you could have gone to France directly without requiring refuel. From France to Belgium, you could have flown directly without refueling, the challenge would be from France to South Africa that’s eleven hours with that you need one stop to refuel,” he explained.

According to the MP, “we have used the presidential jet with President Mahama and President Mills and when it’s time for refueling you stay in the aircraft and its refueled it doesn’t even take an hour.”

“So the excuse we are have been given today that because of Covid it will take two hours and the President will have to be out there and exposed to Covid is not tenable with all due respect it is a cock and bull story we are not buying it,” the MP argued.

Finance Minister Ken Ofori Atta is expected in parliament today to answer questions relating to the cost of hiring the aircraft for the president’s recent foreign travel.