Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu is appalled at answers given by Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta on the amount of GH¢2.8 million spent on President Nana Akufo-Addo’s recent travels to South Africa and France using services of private jet instead of presidential jet.

Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the Minister “treated Parliament with disdain” after claiming the Minister of National Security is the right person to answer questions on presidential travels.

Mr Ofori-Atta on Thursday, July 22, 2021, told Parliament the Minister for National Security was best placed to provide the House with details of cost of the trips and insisted that the cost of the president’s domestic and international travels is handled by the Ministry of National Security and not his outfit.

He noted that he did not make any specific release to the Chief of Staff for president’s trips to France, Belgium, and South Africa.

These answers, Mr Ablakwa said, are worrying considering the public interest in the matter.

“At what point did the Minister realise he did not have the answers? He could have gotten the answers if he wanted to, you do not treat Parliament that way, not how we protect public purse, promote good governance, probity, accountability and transparency which is wrong,” he said.

The North Tongu MP, who is a Ranking Member on Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, said the Finance Minister must be punished for his conduct.

“It is contemptuous of Parliament, and an insult to the citizenry;do you know what GH¢2.8 million will do for my rural folks?” he bemoaned.