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General News | Apr 26, 2004

State To Lose US$10Million, On Presidential Jet

GNA

The state could lose over US$10 MILLION in selling the presidential jet which was acquired by the previous administration close to four years now, but a government spokesperson has stated categorically that nothing can change its decision over the sale of the jet.

Over US$16 million of public funds has so far been spent on acquiring the aircraft but would not fetch more than US$6 million in the open market now, according to an independent valuer. The controversial aircraft will, “not go beyond US$6 million if it is placed on the market, because it has a restricted model that is no longer popular for corporate use in the developed economies”, B&FT was told by representative of a company based in South Africa.

In his reaction, Mr Amponsah Bediako, a government spokesperson reiterated government's position on the aircraft, to sell, because according to him, government is absolutely convinced that the deal was fraught with corruption. Mr Bediako said further that, “we have enough evidence pointing this assertion” but not enough prove to go to court over it”, Nonetheless, our decision is based on principle, he added.

Meanwhile, financial analysts have expressed mixed feelings about the real value of the aircraft. And have called for a Parliamentary Committee to probe the acquisition, and make recommendation to determine the fate of the aircraft.

Government of Ghana finished paying for the jet recently despite its effort to stop the lease arrangement, which forced government's UN Peace-Keeping Account to commit US$16 million to HSBC.

However, the jet has never been flown for almost four years since the last governments hastily acquire it. Asked whether it was going to be easy for government to dispose off the aircraft because of the controversies, and negative publicity surrounding its acquisition, Mr Bediako, answered in the affirmative. He explained that even though it may not be a hot cake in the developed hot cake in the developed economies, it could sell in this part of the world.

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