President Akufo-Addo has assured the Ghana Armed Forces that they will be provided with the necessary resources to carry out their constitutionally mandated role of, amongst others, protecting the territorial integrity of the country.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of officer cadets of the Ghana Armed Forces at the Ghana Military Academy, on Friday, 19th October, 2018, President Akufo-Addo, indicated that since assuming the reins of office, some 21 months ago, a lot has been done by his government to improve upon the logistical and accommodational requirements of the armed forces.
“For example, the government took delivery, recently, of 50 robust high-occupancy Ankai-A8 buses for the purpose of transporting service personnel across the length and breadth of the country for training and related duties. In 2017, Government donated 40 pickups to the military personnel involved in Operation Calm Life,” the President said.
Additionally, he indicated that Government has ordered an additional 135 vehicles, including Nissan Hardbody pickups, Toyota Landcruisers, Toyota Landcruiser Prados, Toyota Landcruiser pickups and dispatch motorbikes, to improve the transportation facilities of the troops, with the vehicles set to arrive in Ghana within two months.
“I have also directed the Minister for Defence to begin the second phase of the project for the asphalting of roads in the barracks,” he added.
With reference to housing, it would be recalled that, in June this year, President Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the National Barracks Regeneration Project, which has since started in Accra and Tamale, a project, the President said, will be expanded extensively in 2019.
“Next month, in November, the Minister for Defence will cut the sod for the construction of the ‘Commander-in-Chief Sports Stadia Programme’ for garrisons in the country, with the first to be built in Tamale. It is gratifying to note that funds have already been secured for this project. Funding has also been secured for the construction of a new Army headquarters, which will begin before the end of the year,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo revealed further that a contract has also been signed for the construction of a Forward Operating Base at Enzulebu in the Western Region to protect Ghana’s oil resources.
“In conjunction with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation, the Ministry of Defence has ordered six patrol boats for the Ghana Navy to help in the protection of our maritime resources and our oil fields. We have increased, since February 2017, the UN peacekeeping daily earned amount from $30 to $35, and consistently ensured that troops are paid at their operational areas, rather than being paid here at home,” he added.
Whilst acknowledging that there are still some issues to be addressed, President Akufo-Addo assured that “other accommodation and equipment needs of the Ghana Armed Forces will be duly resolved to enhance efficiency and morale.”
With the Ghana Military Academy not witnessing any significant development in its infrastructure, since its establishment in 1960, the President told the gathering that he has directed the Minister for Defence to take steps to wall off the remaining lands.
“Plans have also been put in place for the building of new, state-of-the-art infrastructure to meet the requirements of a 21st century training institution. This is a legacy I would want to bequeath to the Ghana Armed Forces,” he added.
Maintain good relations with civilians
To the graduating officer cadets, President Akufo-Addo stated that they are joining a profession whose members have not only upheld its image, but also continue to ensure that the territorial integrity of our nation is preserved, thereby making Ghana peaceful and stable.
“In order to execute your onerous obligations, the motto of the Academy, ‘Service, Devotion and Sacrifice’, must always be your guiding principles. You must bear in mind that the Ghana Armed Forces, over the years, has striven to maintain a healthy relationship with the civilian population, in line with the tenets of national integration and cohesion,” the President said.
He continued, “I am reminding you, today, that your commission into the Armed Forces places great responsibility on you to guard against the temptation of using the uniform to intimidate your civilian counterparts, who are your natural partners in the development of our nation, and whose taxes provide the means for your sustenance as members of the Armed Forces.”
President Akufo-Addo, thus, entreated that “to put into practice the qualities of good leadership instilled in you at the Academy, lead an exemplary life, and ensure that the men under your command also do the same.”
The President also commended all the award winners on the day, especially Senior Under Officer Daniel Opoku Boadu, who was adjudged the Best All Round Officer Cadet of Regular Career Course 58.