Defense Minister confirms Government Plan To Buy Presidential Jet

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The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, has said that consultations are being had toward the purchase of a new jet for government business.

In a response to a question on the floor of parliament on Tuesday, 14 December 2021, Mr Jinapor said: “The Ghana Air Force has, indeed, written to the Minister of Defence to secure for the use of government business, the main aircraft for the communications squadron for the Ghana Air Force”.

“Mr Speaker, consultations are ongoing with the government, parliament, religious bodies and trade unions on the purchase of Ghana Air Force and Navy assets to enable the Ghana Armed Forces to efficiently defend our nation as expected,” he noted.

“The policy and strategy of the Ghana Air Force have been to maintain a minimum of 2 aircraft, which consists of the main aircraft and supporting aircraft that are expected to undertake government business. It must be noted that the CASA 295 is not suitable for government business in view of its design and features making it a pure military aircraft.”

A few months ago, the Director of Communications at the presidency, Mr Eugene Arhin, announced that the government was in the process of procuring a bigger presidential jet.

He told journalists at the Jubilee House on Monday, 27 September 2021, that: “You would recollect that when the government of President Kufuor left office in 2008, it had procured two jets – the current Falcon and a bigger one – but for one reason or the other, the bigger jet was cancelled, and we were left with just one”.

“That has happened but you will recall that the Defence Minister stated clearly that the government has decided to buy a bigger jet to save us from all these troubles.”

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“I don’t want to go into the details but I am sure that when the Minister gets the opportunity, he will give further information on what the government is doing in that respect but I am sure of the fact that the government is already in the process of getting a bigger jet for use”, he added.

This comes on the back of repetitive backlash against President Nana Akufo-Addo for renting jets for his foreign trips when, in the view of his critics, such as North Tongu MP Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, he could have made use of the current jet.

In August this year, Mr Nitiwul, through the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Mr Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, asked parliament to pass a €111 million agreement for the supply of six L-39 next-generation aircraft for the Ghana Armed Forces.

The supplier is AERO Vodochody AEROSPACE a.s of the Czech Republic.

Some seven aircraft were to have been acquired for the Ghana Armed Forces before the end of 2020.

The Defence and Interior Committee is considering the request after it was referred to it.

Per the Defence ministry’s Medium Term Expenditure Framework for 2020 – 2023, as of 30 June 2019, it had “overhauled three Casa Aircraft for the Ghana Air Force and two helicopters which were grounded since 2012.”

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Additionally, the government is also targeting to “refurbish 15 aircraft by December 2020”.

 

 

 

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