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General News of Sunday, 16 March 2008

Source: GNA

We have not ordered Prez Jet, But .... Awuni

Accra, March, 15, GNA-The Office of the President on Saturday stated that the Presidency has not ordered any Presidential Jet for itself as being alluded to in the current debate on the issue.

A statement signed by Mr Andrew Awuni, Press Secretary to the President said: "what the government has simply done regarding this matter is to put before Parliament an elaborate and comprehensive request from the Ghana Airforce for re-equipping its communications squadron.

"The request covers the purchase of about six military aircrafts including two Y121 military planes, two MA60 passenger planes, one Airbus Jet 319(pictured) and one Falcon 900.

It is for the purchase of these aircrafts that financial proposals have been laid before Parliament for consideration and approval in line with the constitution.

"Indeed, the recommendation in respect of the purchase of the Falcon 900 and the Airbus planes were made, as far back as 1997, long before, the Gulf Stream Presidential plane was purchased by the then government."

The release said; "Last year, Ghana Airforce Command, sent an urgent memorandum to the government, decrying the poor state of their equipment and warned that their current fleet of aircrafts will be grounded by 2010, due to old age.

"This request also made recommendations as to what measures needed to be taken to forestall the imminent danger that they face should the re-equipping process, suffer implementation difficulties. "Subsequent to this the Ministry of Finance has been working with, the Ministry, of Defence, and the Airforce Command to arrange the necessary credit facilities for the purchase of the equipment, subject to approval of the Parliament of Ghana.
"That said, the government would wish to re-emphasise that no payments have been made to any seller yet in respect of this proposal and the public must rest assured that due process would be followed accordingly.