• He never indicated which flight the President travelled in
• Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa had written that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo during his recent trip abroad hired yet another luxurious aircraft LX-DIO
Eugene Arhin, Director of Communications at the Presidency, says the MP for North Tongu lied about President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo hiring another luxurious aircraft on his recent trips to the UK and Germany.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, September 7, Arhin indicated that the President did not use a Luxembourg-based aircraft registered as LX-DIO as Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa wants the public to believe.
“Let me put it on record that the Member of Parliament for North Tongu who made this disclosure put out the information that the President travelled on a jet with the number LX-DIO.
“I travel with the President on every single trip and on the trip to the UK first, for the Global Education Summit, and subsequently to Germany, the President did not use this jet. I don’t know where he got his information from,” he said.
Eugene Arhin in dismissing the claims by the MP, did not give details on the flight President Akufo-Addo travelled on, but he categorically said, that the flight mentioned by Okudzeto Ablakwa, was not used by the President.
The Director of Communications’ comment follows a recent allegation by Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa that President Akufo-Addo had again hired a luxurious aircraft on his recent foreign trips.
According to the North Tongu MP, the trips on the hired jet cost the state £14,000 per hour and a cumulative ¢3.46 million.
In a post on his social media pages, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa called for a national policy on presidential travels akin to what pertains in other jurisdictions.
“For his recent travels to the UK on the 27th of July, 2021, to attend the Global Education Summit and last week’s state visit to Germany, he blatantly refused to travel on the presidential jet.
“Instead, he opted for another top of the range VIP luxury charter jet specifically known to industry players as the Boeing 737-900ER BBJ3,” he alleged.
He said, the Luxembourg-based aircraft is registered LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg. Its Manufacturer Serial Number (MSN) is 62515 with Line Number 5659.
“The 19-seater luxury jet, which has a HEX code 4D0213 is configured VIP, has 2x CFMI engines and was delivered to the current operators in November, 2015.
“Very few luxury jets boast of its features. Its manufacturers say the cabin is divided into multiple sections to guarantee exceptional comfort. It provides a VIP lounge for relaxation, Five-Star dining facilities, Royal Master bedroom, Cinema Room, specially delineated for watching movies, which is a separate accessory from other in-flight entertainment systems, and of course, just as you predicted correctly, complete with a luxury shower (apparently, the sky bath continues unabated – all royalties paid to Defence Minister, Nitiwul).
“If our government is dealing directly with the operators of the LX-DIO, then it is costing the Ghanaian taxpayer at least, $14,000 per hour. However, if our government is leasing the aircraft via brokers or middlemen, as it has gained notoriety in many sectors, you shouldn’t be surprised the Ghanaian taxpayer is being billed between $18,000 and $22,000 per hour.
“Using the conservative rate of $14,000 per hour, the two trips to the UK and Germany which require some 28 hours of travel distance in and out plus an additional 13 hours of pick up and drop off time, the taxpayer has been burdened again to the colossal tune of $574,000. At the current exchange rate, that is a staggering GH¢3.46 million,” the Facebook post read.