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Pres pledges govt’s unflinching support for military

Government has announced plans to give the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie in Accra a face-lift through a US$100 million loan facility currently before Parliament.

President Akufo-Addo is expected to cut the sod next month for the commencement of the project which is expected to be completed within two years.

This was made known yesterday, when the President joined the Ghana Armed Forces for its 2018 West African Soldiers Social Activity (WASSA), at the General Headquarters, Burma Camp.

While acknowledging the commitment of the military, President Akufo-Addo commended them for their selfless dedication to protecting the country.

He expressed the government’s unflinching support for the military and provide them with the necessary resources and proper remunerations and allowances.

“This Government is fully committed to the well-being and welfare of the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces. We will continue to stay true to the pledges we made in the 2016 manifesto that brought my party, the New Patriotic Party, and I, into office.

“In addition to others, we increased the United Nations Peacekeeping Troops contribution allowances from $30 to $35 per soldier per day, we cleared the outstanding arrears of $13 million for all peacekeeping personnel, we are now paying your allowances at the place of operations, as you wished, we have also settled the 11.1 per cent of arrears due to the civilian employees, and effected a 10 per cent upward salary review for all personnel,” he said.

The President added that the “completion of the 3rd Phase of the 37 Military Hospital is on course, and we are also completing the 500-bed Military Hospital in the Ashanti Region, and will begin the third phase of this project soon.

“Work is on-going on the barracks regeneration projects, with the four blocks of 16 flats each between 60 to 75 per cent complete. Nearly a month ago, in fulfillment of an October 2018 pledge, I presented 50 ANKAI Buses, 40 Toyota Land Cruiser Hardbody Vehicles, and 50 Toyota Hilux Pickups, which form part of the first tranche of 138 staff and operational vehicles of various categories, to the Armed Forces.

“So, you know that when I make a promise, I deliver on it. During the year, we will provide the Army with 30 Otokar Armored Personnel Carriers (APC), and 6 fast patrol boats for the Navyl. 

“We are also making systematic efforts to protect our offshore hydrocarbon assets, now of great value, by establishing a Forward Operating Base at Enzulebu, in the Western Region, for their protection. Construction of the base will begin this year,” he said.

The Minister for Defence, Dominic Nitiwul confirmed that the loan facility to give the military academy a face lift had been laid before Parliament.

“Mr President, today, through your support, I laid in Parliament a loan of a hundred million dollars which will change the face of the Ghana Military Academy at Teshie.

“It is expected that Mr President will cut the sod next month. We expect that after one year when you visit the Ghana Military Academy, it will be a different Military Academy you will see there.

“Mr President, part of that money will be used to construct befitting housing facilities and accommodation for our troops, particularly those at the other ranks across all the Garrisons of the Ghana Armed Forces; in Tamale, in Accra, in Sekondi-Takoradi, in Sunyani and in Kumasi,” he said

The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa in his welcome address, applauded the President and the sector Minister for retooling the GAF, adding that, “yet, more is needed.”

BY YAW KYEI

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