Osman Ayariga, a communication team member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has chastised Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta for failing to render accounts for the foreign trips of President Akufo-Addo.
The President’s foreign travels have become a subject of public scrutiny for the past month, after MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, disclosed that the state had to charter a private jet that costs £15, 000 per hour for his recent trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
The Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, who was expected to brief Parliament on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, about the cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent trips, failed to do so after buying time a few weeks earlier.
However responding to the urgent questions on the use of a private jet for the trips in Parliament Wednesday, Ofori-Atta stated the cost of the President’s domestic and international travels are handled by the National Security Ministry and not his outfit.
He indicated that he did not make any specific releases to the Chief of Staff for the President’s trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.
Reacting to the issue, Ayariga, a youth activist indicated that the government was attempting to hide the cost of the luxurious trips which cost the tax payer more than 2 million cedis.
Recalling how president Akufo-Addo promised to protect the public purse during his first investiture, Ayariga posited rendering account should not have been a big deal for Ofori-Atta, a cousin of Akufo-Addo.
“We are not asking for more. All that we are asking for is how much the trip cost,” he told Morning Update host Eric Ahianyo on TV XYZ.
Tagging the government as corrupt, he said, “the National Security Minister will only tell us because of security reasons they are unable to tell us the cost of the trip.”
Touching on the plights of the thousands of unemployed youth, Ayariga jabbed the Akufo-Addo government for engaging in deceit, saying ” the president before coming to power promised heaven and earth . They promised to create millions of jobs. What do we see now ? Deceit.”
He tasked Parliament to probe the matter and make sure accountability resigns.
Meanwhile, MP for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa who filed the urgent question about the trips has vowed to take the matter up.
“They are trying very hard to equalize the unjustifiable expenditure. So none of these gimmicks will let us relent the confidence our constituents have reposed in us,” Ablakwa stated on Morning Update.
He added, “The Finance Minister has told the whole world that we should go to the National Security Minister. And we are sounding a caution to the Security Minister not to come and tell us it’s a national security issue.”
He added, “We will pursue this matter to its logical conclusion. We have other options available to us as well and we will trigger all those options.”