Government increases allowances for Ghanaian troops on peacekeeping

President Mahama unveiling plaque to officialy commissioned the  Headquaters for the Navy at Burma Camp.President John Dramani Mahama yesterday announced an increase of a one dollar per day in the peacekeeping allowance for Ghanaian troops on peacekeeping operations across the world.

It increases the current United Nations Peace-Keeping allowance of 30 dollars a day to 31 dollars a day. The peace-keeping allowance was last topped up by the government in 2009.

Addressing military and civilian personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), at Burma Camp in Accra yesterday, he also assured the military of measures to streamline the payment of the allowances, so as to address the payment problems that sometimes create tension in the military.

President Mahama, who was interacting with the personnel after commissioning a new Naval Headquarters Office complex at the camp, gave the assurance that his administration was committed at enhancing the welfare of the servicemen who continue to sacrifice for the country.

Answering questions of remuneration, increases in allowances and pensions, he asked the personnel to forward those requests to the GAF Council and the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission for consideration.

“Once it is approved, we will pay,” he said, adding that his government “is not averse to salary increases.”

President Mahama, Commander-in-Chief of the GAF, who attended the ceremony, for the first time in full military uniform that generated excitement in the Camp, also gave the assurance that the Ministry of Finance would soon clear all arrears owed the military.

His outfit was described by Defence Minister, Dr. Benjamin Kumbour, as depicting “combat readiness,” attracting loud cheers from the filled Burma Hall.
It is the first time a Ghanaian Leader, after Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings, has been seen in military uniform.

President Mahama, in addition, said Armed Forces Council had approved the fencing of all GAF lands to protect them against encroachment.

With regard to concerns over the accreditation of GAF training schools, he said the Council has submitted application for the accreditation of programmes of the training schools ensure that trainees were offered accredited programmes that could enable them to secure jobs outside the military.

Regarding accommodation, he gave the assurance that more affordable housing sites would be allocated to the military, adding that the infrastructure at the various garrisons, were also being improved.

He announced that construction works to build a modern barracks for the Navy at Inchaban in the Western Region would be started soon.

“Since 2009, the government has remained committed in resourcing and retooling the Armed Forces,” he said, and cited a number of key projects and interventions in the Army, Air Force and Navy as indicative of that commitment.

Earlier in his address to commission the new Naval Headquarters Complex, President Mahama expressed optimism that the new office, which he described as “befitting,” would help to effectively boost the operations of the Ghana Navy.

He commended the Navy for its efforts and contributions that had led to make Ghana’s waters the safest in West Africa, and encouraged the personnel to maintain the status.

He thanked the past and present leadership of the Navy for their commitment towards the office complex project, and assured the Navy of continued support so as to protect the country’s waters.

The new complex replaces the pre-colonial structure that housed the Naval Headquarters.

The new two-storey complex is designed in the form of a ship. It consists of a Command block and six departmental blocks for operations and intelligence,training,administration, technical and supply units. It also has an auditorium, conference rooms, offices, library, museum, canteen, gym and store rooms.

Air Marshal Michael Samson-Oje, Chief of Defence Staff, thanked the government for advancing resources towards enhancing the operations of the Armed Forces, and assured the President of their commitment to duty.

“We will remain loyal to you as President and our Commander-in-Chief, and execute our duties with utmost professionalism, loyal and commitment,” he said.

By Edmund Mingle

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