The Honourable Member of Parliament for North Tongu Constituency Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has exposed President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for abandoning Ghana’s Presidential jet again on his recent trip to France.
According to the Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s latest trip to France, he has in insulting defiance once again abandoned the presidential jet and opted to use his exorbitant favourite toy on his trip.
He explained that, the cost of the President’s favourite toy is US$14,000 an hour Boeing 737-900 BBJ3 registered LX-DIO and operated by Global Jet Luxembourg.
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Mr. Ablakwa said the jet remains at the president’s disposal during the entire duration of his holidays. “Conservative estimates put the overall transaction at nothing less than GH¢2.5million. This is certain to be the most expensive holiday by any sitting Ghanaian President.”
The Lawmaker disclosed this as Ghanaians have been burdened with exorbitant taxes described as E-levy in the 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy presented to Parliament by the Finance Minister Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta on Wednesday, 17th November, 2021.
The 2022 Budget has introduced a new MoMo tax ( E-Levy) to be implemented by Government of Ghana under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s Presidency.
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Government has put a levy on all electronic transactions known as electronic levy. According to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta statement on E-Levy, Mobile money (Momo) transactions will now be taxed as part of the new Electronic Transaction Levy. 1.75% to be borne by the sender.
But, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa believes that, the issue ought not to be how much more government can rake in by way of imposing further hardships on the people with these new raft of taxes on MoMo transactions, bank transfers, merchant payments, inward remittances, property rates, fees and charges automatic adjustments and so on and so forth; government must first show how they have been frugal in utilizing all previous revenue collections.
“We all know that thus far, the Akufo-Addo/Bawumia record on frugality and efficiency has been horrendous – to say the least. I shall stay on the most classic example: the sybaritic charter of ultra luxury executive jets for the creature comfort of the president when Ghana has an airworthy presidential jet.”
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He added that, many Ghanaians will be incensed for the umpteenth time to learn that despite public backlash and fresh criticism from the Catholic Bishops Conference about the President’s naked betrayal on his pledge to protect the public purse, President Akufo-Addo remains obstinate.
“A valid question arises, will the Ghanaian taxpayer be made to pay for the luxurious Russian-oligarch-style holiday of President Akufo-Addo? In many other jurisdictions where presidential travel policies exist, presidents are made to pay for their private rendezvous and taxpayers are duly and rightly spared.”
“While the President was holidaying aboard the LX-DIO, Ghana’s presidential jet was flown to Guinea Bissau at 7:20am yesterday and returned to the Kotoka International Airport at 6:17pm same day. Another veritable prove that Ghana’s presidential jet continues to be in pristine condition.” Mr. Ablakwa said.
He indicated that, it is also interesting to note that Ghana’s presidential jet flew directly to France as recent as 20th August, 2021. This exposes the ridiculous claim that the jet is no longer fit to fly beyond the African continent. Our Falcon could therefore have flown the President directly to where he is now.
“Clearly, a president who engages in such conduct loses the moral authority to ask Ghanaians to pay more taxes, particularly, in this period of excruciating economic crunch. This is the reason I am on all fours with colleagues in the NDC caucus in Parliament that the tax proposals announced by Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta today, especially the one on MoMo transactions, must be vigorously fought and rejected.”
“After some six months of struggle, the National Security Minister, Mr. Albert Kan Dapaah is scheduled to appear in Parliament tomorrow the 18th of November, 2021 to finally respond to my question on the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s infamous ultra luxury travels to France, Belgium and South Africa in May aboard the Airbus ACJ320Neo. Let’s see if our tortuous search for accountability will yield the desired results tomorrow. Transparent and accountable governance will either be enhanced or delved a mortal wound tomorrow – I keep a somewhat open mind for now.” This MP explained.