Cost of Akufo-Addo’s foreign trips not crucial to public, must be limited to a few – Security Analyst

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A security analyst, Dr Ishmael Norman has waded into the debate regarding the disclosure of the cost of international trips embarked on by President Akufo-Addo.

Dr Norman believes the issue is a sensitive one as it borders on the security of the President and may be risky to fully divulge.

“Presidential travel cost is not for public consumption. It’s not for public discussion,” he said on JoyNews Prime.

He, however, believes that just some key personalities must know of the details.

Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Bryan Acheampong says he advised the National Security Minister not to make details of the foreign travels, public.

“In my capacity as a Member of Parliament with some knowledge on security matters, I have advised the Minister for National Security to continue to keep the information on the Presidential travel secret,” Bryan Acheampong said.

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He insisted that the status of the figures should be classified as top secret.

On this, the security analyst believes the MP is only “being protective and overexuberant.”

This comes in the wake of attempts by the opposition led by the North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa to get the government to account for the chartered transportation which he has described as ‘Arabian Knight’ style putting pressure on the country’s expenditure.

Dr Norman, however, disagrees that the figure should be made outrightly accessible to the citizenry.

“I don’t think the quantum of money to be spent is a top-secret because it is a burden on the national purse and Ghanaians need to know. However, the details per trip should not be available to the public,” he added.

He said the amount allocated in the annual budget statement should give Ghanaians a fair idea of how much goes into the said trips.

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“I’m sure that the budget will have a quantum of money that the President will spend on international travel. Ghana budget will have that otherwise, how do you finance those trips. But it shouldn’t be available to everybody,” he said on November 24.

For the analyst, a more constructive discourse will be the frequency of his travels.

“Why does our President have the need to travel so much when a powerful, richer country like China, the premier does not travel and does everything by Zoom including international diplomacy,” he told Kojo Manu.

Meanwhile, a cross-section of Ghanaians sampled by JoyNews believes calls for full disclosure are in the right direction.

Some of them say it is crucial to ensure accountability in the government framework.

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