Mark Woyongo inspecting a parade of officers mounted in his honour

THE DEFENCE Minister, Mark Owen Woyongo, has expressed grave concern about the level of encroachment on military lands across the country as he hints of $300million for equipment.

According to him, the ministry has taken a decision to secure all military lands in the country by documenting the lands to end the litigations and encroachments on them.

Mr. Woyongo said this when addressing a durbar of officers and men at the 3 Garrison in Sunyani as part of his tour of the Northern Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, on Thursday.

The Minister therefore charged all military commands across the country to take steps to secure their lands through proper documentation.

He also charged the military establishments to find innovative ways of generating their own revenue to fund some of their internal operations.

Mr. Woyongo advised the military to take advantage of the President?s Agricultural Initiative to go into agriculture to earn some income, while boosting food security in the country.

He noted that he would liaise with the Agriculture Minister to send some tractors to the Military to go into commercial agriculture especially in the Brong Ahafo and the three Northern regions.

Touching on resourcing of the military, Mr. Woyongo disclosed that the Defence Ministry was currently pursuing a $300m loan facility in Parliament meant to buy military equipment and accoutrements for personnel who go on peace-keeping missions in Mali, South Sudan and other places.

He said part of the facility would be used to buy Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) and other military accoutrements for the various military commands in the country.

The Defence Minister further mentioned that plans were far advanced to rehabilitate accommodations and the road networks at the 3 Garrison, which he said were in bad state after touring some facilities at the Garrison.

He explained that as part of the rehabilitation programme, new accommodation structures would be put up while the dilapidated ones will be renovated and furnished to provide descent accommodation for officers.

Mr. Woyongo also charged heads of military commands to regularly organise public durbars for personnel to clear their minds about issues bordering them. This, he noted, would help clear some misconceptions agitating their minds.

The Minister used the occasion to commend military personnel in the country for helping to maintain the peace of Ghana, saying ?Without peace we cannot go about our normal duties.?

He however appealed to officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) to continue to be loyal to the State, the President and protect the Constitution of Ghana by not allowing themselves to be influenced, saying, ?You have a duty to support the Government of the day.?

The minister was accompanied by top officers of the GAF and the Ministry of Defence.

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FROM Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako, Sunyani


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