President Nana Akufo-Addo has presented 40 Jeep J8 vehicles, six Toyota Hi-ace minibuses and 14 Toyota Hilux pick-ups to the Ghana Armed Forces.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the vehicles will help the Army to contain the security threats posed by extremist groups operating along Ghana’s northern borders. It will also help them deal better with internal security challenges.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony on Wednesday, the President noted that these 60 vehicles are to complement the 73 armoured personnel carriers, 41 Toyota vehicles, three water tankers, a self-loading recovery truck, a refrigeration van, and five utility vehicles for waste disposal and management, he presented on December 5, 2019, and March 31, 2021.
He told the gathering that Government is constantly apprised of the needs of the Armed Forces, and as Commander-in-Chief, he is taking steps to ensure that they are met.
“We recognise that our vision of ensuring equitable distribution of development, progress and prosperity to all parts of the country can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace and security.
“We are determined to continue in this vein and satisfy the legitimate demands of the Armed Forces,” he said.
He continued, “there is no doubt that your success in providing the needed all-round security in the country has been made possible through your vigilance and sacrifices, notwithstanding the modest resources with which you have to work. Ghana is forever indebted to you.”
Before presenting the vehicles, President Akufo-Addo drove through the Ghana Military Academy Infrastructure Upgrade project site and expressed delight that the project has progressed significantly since he cut the sod for its commencement on July 4, 2019.
The Cadet Mess, the Square and lecture rooms are completed. The Administration Block is 95% complete, and the contractor is in the final stages of completing the external works.
The 246 capacity Cadet Hostel and Platoon Commander’s Block are 65% complete.
The President was also informed that the housing project, which is an integral part of the facility for funding the Military Academy Upgrade Project, would see the Ghana Armed Forces adding 832 units of 2-bedroom self-contained flats to its stock when completed, with the ones at five and six Garrisons also at various stages of completion.
The President also inspected the ongoing construction of the seven-storey Army Headquarters Office Complex, progressing steadily.
“This project is costing the taxpayer some ¢33 million. But, undoubtedly, it will boost the image and morale of the Army, since the Air Force and the Navy already have very beautiful headquarters, and we cannot allow the Army to be left out,” he added.
The President also cut the sod for the commencement of work on the $24.8 million housing project for troops.
He stated that 40 half compound houses will be built at Burma Camp, 10 each at the Naval Base in Sekondi, the Airforce Base in Tamale, the 4th Infantry Battalion in Kumasi, and the 3rd Infantry Battalion in Sunyani. When completed, a total of 320 units would be added to the housing stock of the Armed Forces.
“As President of the Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, I am fully aware that our economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and security. But, it will come at a cost and against other competing demands.
“These notwithstanding, we continue to make systematic efforts to address the logistical and housing needs of the Armed Forces,” President Akufo-Addo said.
With the threat from the northern border not abating, he stressed that Government released funds last year to start re-tooling, reconstructing and upgrading 15 Forward Operating Bases and new units, including the 10 and 11 Mechanised Battalions, 154 Armoured Regiment and 155 Armoured Regiment, and supporting logistics units.
“All these efforts of re-tooling and providing the necessary housing units will enhance the state of preparedness of the Armed Forces,” he added.