Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta did not go to Parliament on Thursday to provide answers to urgent question posed by the MP for North Tongu and Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Okudzeto Ablakwa, on the President’s decision to hire a private jet that cost taxpayers some Ghc 3 million.
Even though the Ministry had been notified more than two weeks ago of the urgent question and the question had been advertised in the Provisional Order Paper for a response on Thursday, Mr. Ofori-Atta rather asked to be given more time so he can come back with answers later.
The delay has led to questions as to whether an itemization of the fees that the government had paid so the President can junket in the luxury jet between France, Belgium and South Africa, has suddenly become rocket science.
Hon. Okudzeto Ablakwa, the North Tongu MP who had posed the urgent question has expressed disappointment in the development.
“Very surprising that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta is asking Parliament for more time to respond to my urgent question on the full cost of President Akufo-Addo’s recent luxury travels to France, Belgium and South Africa. The question had been advertised in the Provisional Order Paper for a response today,” Okudzeto fumed.
“This is terribly disappointing after his Ministry has had more than a two-week notice to prepare an answer for Parliament and the people of Ghana. Sad day for accountability and good governance,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
On Thursday, Mr Ken Ofori-Atta was scheduled to brief the House on the cost of the controversial luxury trip by President Akufo-Addo which the Minority says cost £15,000 per hour.
As the Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, has denied the Minority’s figures, it was expected that Ken Ofori-Atta would end the controversy by providing the real cost of the trip.
However, even though his presence was communicated in the provisional order paper, his presence was absent from the actual order paper.
The MP for North Tongu expressed surprise at the turn of events. “Coming to the House today and looking at the order paper, the question that was advertised for the Honourable Minister responsible for Finance on the cost of the President’s recent trip to France, Belgium and South Africa is conspicuously missing on today’s order paper and Mr Speaker, I am wondering what is the cause of this rather strange development,” questions Okudzeto.