Dominic Nitiwul has debunked reports that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo wanted to take his shower that is why the country decided to hire the luxurious £15,000 per hour private jet for his recent trip abroad.
According to him, the G-Kelt aircraft was hired for the President to travel in because of his safety and that of his crew because the Presidential jet recently had some challenges.
The Defence Minister came under attack when he told Parliamentarians that the presidential jet was not conducive and presented many challenges when the President was embarking on his 10-day foreign travel.
He stated that despite the Falcon jet being airworthy, it lacked certain facilities like a washroom and it could contain less of the President’s entourage.
“This aircraft will carry a load of 11 passengers minus the crew. When this aircraft is travelling to the eastern part of the United States of America or Asia, it will not load a crew of more than eight plus the luggage.
In fact, the President would also have to go a day ahead because no president can shower in this aircraft. He cannot move from this aircraft straight into a meeting,” he stated.
This, the Defence Minister claims, was misreported by the media.
GhanaWeb monitored Dominic Nitiwul’s explanation on Joy FM where he said:
“What we looked at was the safety of the passengers and the crew, not the amount involved in it. That is the first thing we look out for before we look at other factors. It doesn’t mean we don’t look at the amount but what we look at first is the safety of passengers. When it comes to the choice of the President’s travel, it is a schedule. It is determined by two groups of people; National Security and the Ministry of Foreign affairs.
Also, in this COVID era, when you are travelling to multiple destinations like the President’s recent trip, the Falcon jet couldn’t have been taken because we would have had to do technical stuff which is not desirable. When he is travelling with more than 20 people like he has been doing that has brought huge sums of money to this country, the President may need not just the Falcon.
At no point did I ever say that President Akufo-Addo cannot shower that is why he used the G-Kelt aircraft.”
He stated that the decision was taken by the government in order not to incur any additional costs if the presidential jet had been used because the team that travelled with the President would have been flown earlier and camped at a hotel which would come at a cost before the President arrives.
“I said that when a President has to travel like that it is unwise to use a small aircraft because the entire team has to travel two or three days before to wait for the President. The hotel bills alone cumulatively add up to the state and it is more expensive,” Dominic Nitiwul explained further.