Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has caused a major stir on social media for citing Nana Akufo-Addo’s inability to bath in the presidential jet as a defence for the government’s decision to rent a luxurious, expensive aircraft for the President’s recent trip to France, Belgium and South Africa.
The Defence Minister on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, justified the government’s decision to hire the luxury aircraft which is alleged to have cost the taxpayer £15,000 per hour.
Dominic Nitiwul told Parliament that using the presidential jet would not have been a good idea because the Falcon was not conducive and presented many safety challenges when the President was embarking on long-distance trips.
He stated that although the Falcon was in good condition to fly, had the President decided to travel to France, Belgium and South Africa, he would have to go a day ahead because “no president can shower in this aircraft. He cannot move from this aircraft straight into a meeting.”
This comment has elicited sharp criticisms from a section of Ghanaians on social media who believe that defence was not well thought through.
“so that the president can have a ‘SHOWER’ in the air; on a private jet, Ghana pays £15,000 per hour for a presidential trip. Meanwhile 1000s of communities don’t even have POTABLE WATER to DRINK. Okay!” Ricky Kwame posted on Facebook.
“Presidential jet not convenient” Nana Addo can’t even bath in it – Hon. Dominic Nitiwul.
“Me: If Nana Addo’s government is full of stupidity, what about those who speak for them? A harmless question,” another commentator (Dr. Lawrence) said.
Meanwhile Mr Nitiwul also cited many other reasons to justify the decision to rent a private jet.
The following the text of the full justification he gave for the decision to rent a top-of-the-range aircraft, expensive and luxurious aircraft for the trips to France, Belgium and South Africa.
“In practical experience since the aircraft was acquired in 2010 whenever the aircraft is travelling to the eastern part of United States or Asia, the aircraft will not load through more than eight plus the luggage. So it depends on where it is going and the payload with it.
“Secondly, I have also said the aircraft has to do refuelling stops, and also in this Covid-19, when you are travelling to multiple destinations like the President’s recent travel, the Falcon couldn’t have been taken because he would have had to do technical stops which are not desirable.
“Again, when he is travelling with more than 20 people for a business trip, as he has done and brought huge sums of money for this nation, he will need more than just a Falcon, otherwise, the others would have to go a day ahead before the president to prepare themselves.
“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.”