President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo with some Ghanaian contingent in The Gambia
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo says he would put an end to the practice whereby Ghanaian peacekeepers are paid their allowances several months after they had arrived in the country.
He said his government would ensure that military as well as other security personnel who undertake peacekeeping missions are paid on time.
“We will make it a principle that wherever the peacekeeping operation is, the peacekeepers will be paid there. That is the principle, and we are not going to go back on that”, he said.
The President made these remarks when he interacted with Ghanaian troops who are in The Gambia as part of ECOWAS mission to maintain peace in the small West African country Saturday.
Ghanaian soldiers continue to receive praises from international organisations especially the United Nations (UN) for their professionalism during peacekeeping missions.
For over 50 years the country has played key role in the maintenance of world peace despite budgetary and developmental constraints.
Countries volunteering for peacekeeping operations are given the standard rate of $1,332 per soldier a month by the UN. This was approved by the General Assembly effective July 1, 2014. It was later increased to $1,365 in 2016 jumping to $1,410 in 2017.
However, the soldiers have been displeased with the money paid them by government.
In 2016, former President John Mahama increased the allowance paid the peacekeepers from $31 to $35. He had earlier announced a per diem increment from $30 to $31 representing a $1 addition. The some soldiers were unhappy with the gesture which they described as meagre.
Another thing that continues to annoy them is that their allowances are paid them several months after they had returned to the country.
But President Akufo-Addo said he would ensure speedy release of allowances to the soldiers.
“In our view, those who go on peace keeping operations should be paid where they are and not when they come back to Accra,” he said.
The President, who had committed at least over 210 troops to join ECOWAS forces on a mission in The Gambia, lauded the soldiers for their professionalism.
“As it is now, the monies that are due to you for the first half of the operation, which is up to the 20th of February, have been released to you,” he told them.
He told them that the 50 soldiers who have been asked to remain in The Gambia for the next three months would have what is due them.
“All of you going back to Ghana on Monday will be paid in full before you leave here (Gambia),” he told them drawing applause from the contingent.