Govt Secures GH¢50m To Pay Retirement Benefits Of Soldiers

The government has made available GH¢50 million to pay the entitlements of more than 1,000 personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) who are due for retirement this year.

The Minister of Defence, Mr Mark Woyongo, who made this known to the Daily Graphic in an interview, indicated that the exercise would take six months.

The GAF is made up of the Army, the Navy and Air Force and is supervised by the Ministry of Defence.

New enlistment

“Even as the retired officers are being phased out, the enlistment of new personnel is going on,” Mr Woyongo said, explaining that that was to ensure the staff strength of the forces was not affected.

He said the ministry would recruit 100 professionals, such as medical doctors, nurses and engineers, this year, while 1,000 soldiers would be recruited soon to augment the strength of the GAF.

Military equipment

Meanwhile, the ministry has laid before Parliament a US$300 million loan facility for the purchase of military equipment to improve the operational effectiveness of the GAF, Kwame Asiedu Marfo reports from Sunyani.

Mr Woyongo announced this when he addressed a durbar of military officers at the Third Infantry Battalion as part of a day’s working visit to the Third Garrison in Sunyani.

He said if the loan facility went through, it would be used to buy equipment, including armoured personnel carriers (APC) for the GAF, adding that the Army needed to be well resourced.

He also stressed the need to buy communication equipment for the GAF to improve on its operations.

Rehabilitation of buildings

Mr Woyongo said there were plans to rehabilitate military accommodation, since a number of buildings were now in deplorable states as a result of neglect.

He said the ministry had decided to secure all military lands to avoid encroachment.

“It is about time we started documenting all military lands to also avoid the numerous litigations,” he added.

Sergeant Major

The Forces Sergeant Major, Chief Warrant Officer Owusu Dickson, condemned the practice of some military personnel putting information on Facebook which he said could destroy the profession and the image of the military and called on such people to put an end to it.

He also urged them to maintain their loyalty to the High Military Command.