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26.01.2006 General News

Kufuor to continue travels on commercial flights

By GNA

President Kufuor is likely to continue travelling abroad on commercial flights until government decides to procure a plane for the Office of the President.

President spokesman Kwabena Agyepong however says no decision has been taken on whether or not to secure a new plane for the President.

A Boeing 727 aircraft carrying President Kufuor and his entourage from Libya to Sudan last Saturday made an emergency landing in the Libyan capital, Tripoli due to hydraulic failure.

The President has returned to Accra safely since then. But the incident has renewed debate over the Presidency's refusal to fly the Gulf Stream 3 Jet procured by the NDC in a 5-year lease plan.

Briefing journalists at the Castle, Mr. Agyepong described the transaction for the jet was imprudent.

“ Our position on the gulf stream remains the same. First of all it was a very imprudent financial transaction for an aircraft of that size for the nation to pay close to $23 million over a five-year lease period.

It was a financially unsound deal, which was fraught in intricacies, which was very difficult to unravel. No wonder it is sitting at the air force base and cannot take more than 12 people. So the President's concern was about the fact that it wasn't a transparent transaction.

Look at the Fokker 20, it was bought in 1977, if my memory serves me right by General Acheampong, its still in use and the president is using it, quite a lot of times, so we think that, that particular transaction was not in the interest of our nation,” he said.

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