Minister of State at the Ministry of Interior who is also the Member of Parliament of Abetifi constituency, Mr Bryan Acheampong, has said he advised the Minister of National Security Albert Kan Dapaah not to release information on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s trips outside Ghana.
He said during the debate on the 2022 budget statement on Tuesday November 23 that information about the President’s travels cannot be made public because of national security reasons.
He said “anytime our president travels he returns with goodies. He visited Germany and he came home with vaccines. Anytime he travels, he comes with goodies,” he said.
Mr Acheampong added “I advised the Minister of National Security to keep the information on presidential travels secret.
“It is not every information that can be divulged to the public. Hitherto, it was information that can be shared but it is no longer information that can be played in the Political arena,” he said.”
It is recalled that the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta answered Member of Parliament for North Tongu Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa on his urgent question regarding the cost of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s recent three-nation travel to France, Belgium and South Africa.
Mr Ablakwa who is the Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, the entire expenditure of the travel could have been used to fix a lot in the country.
He questioned why the presidential jet was abandoned despite being in good condition for a luxurious aircraft owned by Acropolis Aviaition based in the UK.
He filed the two-fold question in May.
Since then, the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has appeared on the floor to give account of his side of the question.
The Finance Minister however, failed to be in the House, since then, to answer the question on the cost, requesting more time on the first occasion his attention was drawn to the question.
On Wednesday, July 21, however, Mr Ofori-Atta said he did not release any funds to the Office of Government Machinery (OGM) this year in line with the 2021 budget implementation instructions.
“The current practice is that the Ministry of Finance releases quarterly funds to the Heads of Department, in this case, Office of Government Machinery, Chief of Staff for all the operational activities of the office,” he said.
“To facilitate the safe coordination of the President’s travels, domestic and foreign, the Office of Government Machinery and the National Security Secretariat work together to achieve this.
“Mr Speaker, the President’s domestic and international travels are matters to do with National Security. The National Security Minister is best placed to furnish this Honourable House with the details needed,” he said.