Government has released GH₵20 billion to provide accommodation for staff of the armed forces under the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) Housing Project.


Government is also renovating four apartments to take care of the about a 6,000 housing deficit facing staff of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in Tamale and Takoradi.


In addition, GAR is working in conjunction with the Ministry of Works and Housing to complete the Housing Project in Kumasi for staff. In all 2,000 housing works will be completed in six months.


The Minister for Defence, Hon. Dominic Nitiwul, made these known when he took his turn at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra, yesterday.


The programme, attended by the Deputy Defence Minister, Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, Chief of Naval Staff and other Senior Staff, was to enlighten the media about the operations of the Ministry and the GAF.


Mr Ntiwul announced that government would fast track the payment of allowances for peace keeping soldiers and that measures had been put in place to settle the allowances before the peace keeping officers returned to post.


He made it known that the Defence Ministry had collaborated with other sister Ministries to provide security to keep internal peace at conflict areas.


He mentioned ‘Operation Gongon’ in the northern part of the country; ‘Operation Calm Life’, a joint operation with civil police to ensure security at the country’s borders and other operations to curb smuggling of goods from and into the country.


On illegal mining, the Defence Minister said, the Armed Forces had assisted legal mining companies to guard the mining areas and established a task force of 400 troops in mining areas to stop illegal mining.


The Minister disclosed that the Ministry had also been engaged in external operations such as Ghana Military Aviation Unit (MINUSMA), UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and UN Operation in Cote D’Ivoire (UNOCI), among others.


He said there are total number of 2,174 all rank troops who were committed in peace keeping activities and 137 experts on mission.


Mr Ntiwul indicated that the ever-increasing role of GAR in conflict situations involving non-state actors required a retooling in terms of equipment, vehicles, vessels and aircraft.


Source: ISD (Priscilla Serwah Adjarkoh)