Soldiers assured of Government’s support

The Minister for Defence, Lieutenant General Joseph Henry Smith, has reassured personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) of Government’s continued support and provision of logistics to enhance their operational capacity.

He said various projects and programmes were being undertaken under the Poly Technologies Incorporated initiative to improve the accommodation and working conditions of the personnel.

The Minister was addressing a cross section of all ranks of the GAF, drawn from all the garrisons at an end of year durbar, attended by the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr Kwabena Duffuor, at Burma Camp last Thursday.

It was also attended by the Chief of the Defence staff, Service Chiefs, senior military officers, civilian employees of the GA, officials of the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.

These were contained in a statement signed by Lt. Col. E. Aggrey-Quarshie, for Director of Public Relations, copied to GNA in Accra on Saturday.

The Minister of Defence on behalf of the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces congratulated the personnel for the display of high standard of professionalism and their support for civil authority, which had contributed to the reduction of crime, especially armed robber during this yuletide.

Lt. Gen. Smith commended the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for supporting the GAF and for explaining to the troops the differences in the Rank Based Salary Structure and the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).

Lt. Gen. Smith congratulated the Service Chiefs and troops for working assiduously this year and asked them not to be discouraged by inciting reportage being made by some newspapers.

He said they should rather maintain the level professionalism and esprit de corps to achieve their goals.

Dr Kwabena Duffour explained that the SSSS was meant to remove inequalities in the salary structure of public service workers but not necessarily to increase salaries.

He also expressed gratitude to the GAF for displaying professionalism in the discharge of their duties.

Dr Duffour praised the personnel for their dedicated service to the nation and asked them to sustain the achievement and added “We would not compromise on our security”.

He said though Government’s budget was rigid because of laws regulating its disbursement, the Ministry of Defence was considered when it came to the allocation of funds since every country needed security in order to propel its economic status.

Dr Duffour appealed to the Ministry of Defence to forward all its challenges to the Ministry of Finance for appropriate remedial action and said pensioners had benefited from the Rank Based Salary Structure.

On the arrears of the 20 per cent across board increase in salaries, he said funds had been released and the first payment made, and asked the soldiers to be patient as the rest of the arrears due them would be paid by March next year. GNA

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