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21.04.2004 General News

Government To Sell Controversial Jet

By JOY ONLINE

Government says its is currently exploring the possibility of selling off the aircraft, which has now been acquired by Ghana following the conclusion of payments for the lease amount for the aircraft.

Information Minister Nana Akomeah told JOY News that the HSBC Bank gave government the option of buying the jet last month at 10 dollars. Under the lease/hire purchase agreement, the Ghana government made a down payment of 2 million dollars on the lease and made a commitment to pay 1.5 million dollars semi-annually over 5 years.

The NDC government transferred 16 million dollars from Ghana's Peacekeeping accounts to the UK branch of HSBC for security. So with 16 million dollars paid off and the plane now property of Ghana, what should happen to it? Should the President just fly the plane? Information Minister Nana Akomeah told JOY News government has other considerations for the aircraft.

"I really hope that it is not going to sit on the tarmac for one whole year. We've commissioned someone who knows tha aviation industry to look around and see if we can get good residual value. In the meantime some offers have come in and the position now is that we will sell it. If we are not satisfied with the offers after eveluation, then we will sell it", he said.

Even if the Gulf Stream jet is sold, the Information Minister concedes the country is unlikely to recoup the 16 million dollars spent on the aircraft, which the President has refused to fly in, in line with the NPP's campaign promise.

The NPP condemned the NDC for purchasing the jet and tried unsuccessfully to sell it off. But the lease/purchase agreement simply made that impossible.

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