It’s not frivolous for nation to acquire presidential jets–lawyer

Kofi Bentil, Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, has postulated that it is excessive, frivolous, and waste of money for the nation to own jets for official presidential and other uses.

“Our history so far shows that we buy them at exorbitant, unjustified prices, maintain them scandalously and then we sell them off at a loss and our country can own jets but we must be very conscious and calculating about it,” he cautioned.

According to him, he did not believe it was waste of money for the country to purchase another presidential jet but it must be done in a calculating manner because over the years issues of presidential jets had not only been shrouded in controversies and politics but we have been unable to appropriately maintain the jets, which were bought at exorbitant prices.

This comes after the government took a decision to procure a new presidential jet and processes of doing so but Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu Constituency in the Volta Region, stated he would demand some answers from the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration when Parliament reconvenes.

Nonetheless, Mr Bentil pointed out that there were many other options the country could utilise aside from owning presidential jets that could come at lower cost and insisted that there were better options than just owning them, calculating and deciding on policy on presidential travels.

“We behave like very rich country when it comes to presidential jets and travels but when it comes to providing schools, hospitals and issues of ordinary people then we remember we are poor country however, elsewhere even billionaires shy away from owning jets.

“They are using services like net jet where you have a pool, subscribe to it, use it, when you finish you send it back, I do not see why we cannot use that, it cost fraction of ownership, there are schools of thought better to charter a jet when you need it and send it back with crew and everything, than to own and maintain it,” Mr Bentil contended.

He decried the country was seen as rich state when it came to presidential travels, comfort and privileges of leaders but the politics needed to be taken away when addressing issues, rather have critical look at numbers and options that would better suit the country .–

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