Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has called on the government to halt consultations on the procurement of new aircraft for the President.

He also called for the cessation of any engagement with aircraft manufacturers on plans to buy a new presidential jet.

According to him, the expenditure that accompanies the purchase of a new aircraft is needless. He added that the country is burdened with many problems that must be addressed.

Speaking on Top Story on Tuesday, he said “this cannot be a priority – this financial obligation which you want to impose very soon on the Ghanaian taxpayer depending on when you conclude your consultation. The Ghanaian people should not be saddled with this financial obligation. ”

Mr Okudzeto told the host, Evans Mensah, that the aircraft the Defence Minister has in mind costs not less than $100 million.”

“This cost of aircraft does not come cheap, per my market survey. That is not chicken change and you would have to pay now, you must come up with the money now before the delivery is made whether in two or three years.”

His comment comes after the Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, while answering questions on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, December 14, 2021, said the procurement of a new aircraft is paramount for government business, particularly with the absence of Ghana Airways.

According to Dominic Ntiwul, the government is currently holding consultations on the purchase of the aircraft with the likelihood of backtracking on the procurement if the need be.

He noted that the government had also contacted Airbus and Boeing on the purchase of the aircraft. he indicated that if government decides to make the purchase, it is a long term commitment.

However, Mr. Ablakwa believes that although the aircraft manufacturers can take a number of years to build and deliver a customer’s preferred aircraft, the payment is done upfront.

“You would have to pay now. You must come up with the money now before the delivery is made whether, in two or three years. It is the same thing that happened when the Falcon was purchased,” he said.

The North Tongu MP added that “President Kufuor had to come up with the money in 2008 from Societe Generale. As for the manufacturers, they don’t care where you get the money from, you must deliver the funds, commit them, and then they would deliver at the end of the manufacturing timeline.”

He stressed that the delivery being a long term commitment means nothing if the Ghanaian people are going to be committed to extra expenditure.

“We are saying that you have no business engaging in consultation, just stop it. This cannot be a priority. This is a country that at this point in time, our frontline health workers, we still owe them. The promises we made to them, we say that we don’t have all the money to take care of them.”

“Noguchi still has major issues and concerns about the equipment they need, we are still struggling to raise adequate number of vaccines, thanks to the benevolence of other countries we would not even have had vaccines at all. These are the matters that people expect the government to focus on,” he added.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.