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Akufo-Addo's £15,000 per hour trip on a luxury jet: The problem is what he hired – Dr. Abbey – Myjoyonline

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Host of Good Morning Ghana, on Metro TV, Dr. Randy Abbey has said, that the argument against the chartering of a private jet for the President’s recent foreign trips, is not so much about the principle of hiring a private jet, but about the luxurious nature of the jet hired.
According to him, the choice of jet was not prudent, considering the fact that the President was on a trip to plead for debt cancellation from foreign powers, on the basis that the Covid-19 pandemic had dealt a heavy blow to the Ghanaian economy.
“You know it’s the irony of it that if you can travel in such luxury, why would you want us to forgive your debt? You’re not portraying yourself as somebody who is even prudent, so it’s a legitimate issue and it’s also about the optics (how people will perceive the decision),” he said.
He added that the choice of that ultra-luxurious private jet is not defensible, given recent agitations in the country over economic hardships and the President’s own rhetoric about the country not being in normal times.
“But when you see the visuals of the aircraft and the description of the aircraft, and the fact that this is the top of the range in the fleet of aircrafts that this company has, it’s about the optics.
“And I keep stressing that these things are not things that are hidden, and so even in opting for this particular one, you should know that these are things that will come to light. People will get to know and you need to ask yourself, will this be a defensible position? This has nothing to do with the principle of hiring a jet, but it is what you hire.
“If you decide to go and hire a car, you have the option of hiring a Mercedes E300 and you have the option of hiring a Maybach. Which one you hire has consequences and you should be able to deal with that,” he said.
Dr. Abbey was however quick to mention that this might not be the only time the President has flown a private jet, and it clearly won’t be his last, due to the fact that the “President has been using the Presidential jet for travels within the sub-region and the continent, and that anytime he’s going beyond the continent, jets are hired.”
He further stated that the government may not have paid as much as MP for North Tongu, Okudzeto Ablakwa had estimated, yet the concern was why would the President ride in ultra-luxury to go and plead for debt forgiveness?
“It could well be that the indicative price of £15,000 per hour is not what we paid, because we obviously would have rented this jet for 10 days, or maybe 11 days and so they would have negotiated a particular price.
“Whatever the negotiated price is, even for the optics, for example, this issue that Okudzeto raises as to you going to ask for debt forgiveness, it’s also about the optics (how people will perceive the decision),” Dr. Abbey said.
According to him, the choice of the top-of-the-range luxury jet by the government did not “portray a government that wants to engage in modesty.”
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