GH₵ 760,959,724.00 for Armed Forces for new or complementary equipment

Government has arranged a financing package for the procurement of new or complementary equipment for all the missions of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

For United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) and United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Force in Mali (MINUSMA), equipment were inspected and has been shipped and equipment for United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) were inspected.

Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, made this known when he presented the 2016 Fiscal Budget and Economic Policy to Parliament on the theme: “Consolidating Progress towards a Brighter Medium Term,” in Accra on Friday.

He said it was to enable the GAF operate the Wet Lease System which is now a UN requirement for each troop contributing country.

The Minister said GAF successfully rescued a ship hijacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria and arrested the eight heavily armed pirates on board and handed them over to the BNI. Meanwhile, efforts would be made to intensify GAF’s operation in this area in 2016.

He said GAF acquired Diamond Surveillance Aircraft, the MI 171 helicopters, CASA 295 troop carrier aircraft in their operations and had constructed new ultra-modern hangars in Accra and Takoradi.

“Four Z-9 helicopters from China were acquired specifically to support the Ghana Gas Company (GGC) in the inspection of the gas pipelines. The collaboration between GAF and GGC to protect the gas pipelines will continue in 2016,” he added.

Mr Terkper said GAF sent troops, military observers and staff officers to conflict areas on request by the United Nations and currently, about 3,000 Ghanaian military of all ranks are involved in peacekeeping across the globe.

He said construction of the new Officers’ Mess for the Military Academy is about 40 per cent complete, indicating the projects are being undertaken under Public Private Partnership including the construction of an ultra-modern Officers’ Mess Complex.

He said an apartment for 96 single-officers and a 48 three-bedroom married quarters for officers in Burma Camp, the construction of a Specialist Hospital are commercial joint venture component.

GAF is undergoing restructuring to ensure that there is military barracks in every region and it is currently based in six out of the 10 regions of the country and being reorganised from two to three commands

He said the Kofi Annan International Peace-keeping and Training Centre trained 91 Police personnel in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Malawi in partnership with the respective government agencies responsible for police training in support of the UN and AU Missions in Darfur and the AU Mission in Somalia.

He said in 2016, the Military Academy Training School would train 140 Officers and Men at Foreign Military Institutions and 120 Officers and Men at Local Institutions of higher learning as well as organise two resettlement and exit training.

“In addition, 65 Officers at Senior Division and 55 Officers at Junior Division will be trained,” he said.

A total of 110 officers from the Armed Forces, Sister Security services and ministries, departments and agencies would be trained in Peace Support Operations and the GAF would conduct African Study Tour for 70 student officers and 30 academic staff as well as organise Regional and Environmental study tours for 150 officers by December 2016.

The Minister said the construction of the new 500-bed Military Hospital at Afari near Kumasi is progressing steadily and it is expected to be completed on schedule.

It is expected that the project would be completed in 2016.

For the implementation of the programmes and activities, GH₵ 760,959,724.00 has been allocated, out of this, GH₵ 624,328,114.00 was from government, GH₵15,598,380.00 was Internal Generated Funds and GH₵ 121,033,230.00 was from Development Partners.