President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Thursday presented 140 vehicles to the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to improve operational efficiency of the military.
The vehicles, comprising 50 Ankai high-occupancy buses, 40 Toyota Landcruiser Hardbody Vehicles and 50 Toyota Hilux Pickups, is a fulfillment of pledge the President made to the GAF last October.
At a short commissioning ceremony at the Gondar Barracks in Burma Camp in Accra, The President Akufo-Addo pointed out that 48 more operational vehicles would be presented to the GAF shortly.
He stated that government was committed to re-equipping and retooling the Armed Forces with the needed logistics to enable it discharge its duties more efficiently and more effectively.
The President later at a durbar of officers, men and women of the Armed Forces said that the vision of ensuring equitable distribution of development, progress and prosperity to all parts of the country could only be made possible in an atmosphere of peace and security.
He said his Government had stayed true to its commitment to the Ghana Armed Forces and “We are determined to continue in this vein, and meet the needs of the 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.
President Akufo-Addo told the gathering that Government had settled the 11.1 per cent of arrears due to the civilian employees, with effect from January 2018, and had ensured a 10 per cent upward salary review for all personnel.
The completion of the third Phase of the 37 Military Hospital, the President said, was 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.”
Furthermore, work was on-going on the barracks re-generation projects, with four blocks of 16 flats each, which the President cut the sod during his last visit to Burma Camp are between 60 to 75 per cent complete.”
“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.”
On career progression in the GAF, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that the legislative instrument (L.I 1332) that seeks 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, had been reviewed, laid and passed by Parliament, and would 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.
The President earlier commissioned the reconstructed Command Officer’s Mess, a project started by the previous administration and completed and fully furnished under the leadership of the Defence ministry and military high command.