Minister of Finance Kenneth Nana Yaw Ofori-Atta has finally answered Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on his urgent question regarding the cost of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent three-nation travel to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
According to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP, who is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, the entire expenditure of the travel could have been used to fix a lot in the country.
He questioned why the presidential jet was abandoned despite being in good condition for a luxurious aircraft owned by Acropolis Aviation based in the UK.
He filed the two-fold question in May.
Since then, the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has appeared on the floor to give an account of his side of the question.
The Finance Minister has, however, failed to be in the House, since then, to answer the question on the cost, requesting more time on the first occasion his attention was drawn to the question.
On Wednesday, July 21, however, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta said he did not release any funds to the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) this year in line with the 2021 budget implementation instructions.
“The current practice is that the Ministry of Finance releases quarterly funds to the Heads of Department, in this case, Office of Government Machinery, Chief of Staff for all the operational activities of the office,” he said.
“To facilitate the safe coordination of the President’s travels, domestic and foreign, the Office of Government Machinery and the National Security Secretariat work together to achieve this.
“Mr Speaker, the President’s domestic and international travels are matters to do with National Security. The National Security Minister is best placed to furnish this Honourable House with the details needed,” he said.