Former president J.A. Kufuor says he is happy that he has contributed to creating an effective presidency for Ghana with the delivery of the presidential jet.

He said contrary to suggestions that the decision to purchase the Executive Falcon 900 was ill-intentioned, buoyed by his indecent desire for opulence, the initiative was well-reasoned.

Mr. Kufuor told Joy FM’s Super Morning Show host, Bernard Sayibu that having been president for seven years by the time the initiative was made, he had realized the significance of an efficient means of transport for the presidency.

He said charges therefore, that the purchase was at best a misplaced priority and at worst a wasteful expenditure are misplaced and unfair.

The plane, he said was acquired through some help and tough negotiation.

“It wasn’t some ready lump sum I put down to buy the plane just like that. I had to negotiate every step of the way; (1) to get the manufacturer to give us brand new plane[s], (2) to get a very reputable bank [like Société Générale] to agree to finance the plane for us – spreading the payment over a five-year period so our budget will not be overstretched…,” he said.

Touching on the highest ecclesiastical honour of the Knight Commanderhood of the Order of Pope Pius IX, conferred on him and his wife by the Vatican, the former president said he and his wife were delighted because regardless of the relentless campaign of vilification against him, an important institution such as the Catholic Church recognized the service he rendered not just to the Church but Ghana.

Story by Malik Abass Daabu/