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General News of Saturday, 9 October 2010

Source: Ministry Of Information

Purchase Of Presidential Jet Saved Ghana $7m - Minister

The ruling NDC Government has debunked accusations that it was being dishonest and hypocritical in the acquisition of the Falcon Ex-900 for the Ghana Armed Forces.

In a statement issued in Accra and signed by the Information Minister John Tia Akologu, the government explained that, it took the decision to acquire the plane in the best interest of the country and after reviewing the agreement which the previous administration had entered into.

“The state would have lost between Five to Seven Million ($5m - 7m) dollars if government had pulled out of the deal” the Information Minister said.

According to him, prior to the exit of the Kufour administration, it had committed the state by a down payment of 5% percent out of the total 15% government was to pay for the cost of the Falcon Ex-900.

“It would not have been prudent and economically wise if the Mills Administration which believes in the responsible use of scarce national resources in the interest of the people to pull out of the deal”.

The statement noted that, it is a matter of public record, that Ghanaians opposed the acquisition of 2 jets by the Kufour Administration because of the serious economic challenges the country faced at the time and particularly when the same government had abandoned the Gulf Strean III Jet to rot at the tarmac after which it was sold as scrap.

The Government cancelled the acquisition of the Airbus A319 which was meant for the comfort of the President because the need of the Ghana Armed Forces is an Aircraft that would help in troop movement instead of the luxury of the executive, the Minister said.

The statement said that, Government henceforth would concentrate on the acquisition of Aircraft that would aid troop movement by the Armed Forces hence the current negotiations between Ghana and Brazil which has agreed to finance the purchase of a 90 seater Embraer 190 Aircraft for Ghana Armed Forces for troop movement.

Additionally, there are plans to buy two training and surveillance Aircraft and four helicopters to assist in troop movement: the statement concluded.