The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has presented 140 vehicles, comprising 50 Ankai buses, 40 Toyota Landcruiser Hardbody Vehicles and 50 Toyota Hilux Pickups, to the Ghana Armed Forces, in fulfillment of an October 2018 pledge he made to the military.
President Akufo-Addo also indicated that an additional 48 vehicles, representing the second tranche of staff and operational vehicles to the Armed Forces, will be presented soon.
The President made this known on Friday, 22nd February, 2019, at an event at Burma Camp, headquarters of the Ghana Armed Forces.
He noted that presentation “forms part of my government’s efforts to re-equip and retool the Armed Forces with the needed logistics to enable you discharge your duties more efficiently and more effectively.”
President Akufo-Addo also commissioned the newly constructed Command Officers’ Mess, a project started by the previous administration, and completed and fully furnished under the current leadership of the Ministry and Military High Command.
As Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the President told the officers, men and women of the Armed Forces that “our vision of ensuring equitable distribution of development, progress and prosperity to all parts of the country can only be made possible in an atmosphere of peace and security. We are determined to continue in this vein, and meet the needs of the Armed Forces.”
Addressing a durbar of some 1,000 officers, men and women at a durbar held at Burma Hall, President Akufo-Addo noted that his Government has stayed true to its commitment to the Ghana Armed Forces.
“One of my first acts as President was to increase the United Nations Peacekeeping Troops contribution allowances from $30 to $35 per soldier per day. We also cleared the outstanding arrears of $13 million for all peacekeeping personnel, and ensured that the contingents in the Gambia were paid all their allowances in full,” he said.
Additionally, he told the gathering that Government has “settled the 11.1% of arrears due to the civilian employees, with effect from January 2018, and have ensured a 10% upward salary review for all personnel.”
The completion of the 3rd Phase of the 37 Military Hospital, President Akufo-Addo said, is receiving due attention, “and we are also focused on completing and commissioning the 500-bed Military Hospital in the Ashanti Region, and beginning the third phase of this project soon.”
On infrastructure, the President “work is on-going on the barracks regeneration projects. The four blocks of 16 flats each, for which I cut the sod during my last visit here, are between 60 to 75% complete.”
He continued, “As I indicated yesterday, in my message to Parliament on the state of the nation, we will provide the Army with 30 Otokar Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), and 6 fast patrol boats for the Navy. With respect to the Air Force, two of the M.I 17 helicopters have been sent for overhauling. One has returned, and the other will be in the jurisdiction shortly.”
“Funds have been released to extend the flying hours for the third helicopter. Similarly, when we took office, all three of the CASA C295 transport aircrafts had broken down. We have fixed one of them, and the remaining two have been sent out of the country for overhauling. One is due back in the country in April, and the other in October.”
President Akufo-Addo indicated further L.I 1332, which is seeking to change the length of service of the men and women of the other ranks of the Ghana Armed Forces from 25 to 30 years and the associated career progression plan, has been reviewed, laid and passed by Parliament, and will be implemented this year as planned.
“The effect of this policy is that troops can continue to serve for a maximum of 30 years, as opposed to the previous set duration of 25 years. However, one is permitted to apply to leave at any time, through the laid down procedure,” he added.
Before concluding, the President implored the Armed Forces to maintain their neutrality and professionalism guaranteed under the Constitution.
“Governments have term limits, and in a multi-party democracy, parties win and lose power. It is good for the health of the nation that this is so, and this is why the Armed Forces should not tie its well-being or otherwise to the fortunes of the ruling party of the day,” he said.
The President also called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage on the military, and desist from attributing political motives to matters that are purely professional.