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30.11.2005 General News

All military garrisons to be rehabilitated

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Accra, Nov. 30,GNA - Dr Kwame Addo-Kufuor, Minister of Defence, on Wednesday said the Government was negotiating for a 10 million-dollar loan to rehabilitate all military garrisons with emphasis on the lodgings of soldiers.

He said the poor state of the military garrisons countrywide was not as a result of the New Patriotic Party's (NPP) policies but was part of the problems inherited from the previous government.

Dr Addo-Kufuor, who was responding to queries from the Minority on the deplorable state of the country's garrisons, had moved for the approval of 694,518 million cedis for the services of the Ministry of Defence for the 2006 fiscal year.

Dr Benjamin Kumbour, the Minority Spokesman on Defence, had stated that the poor lodgings of the soldiers could affect their morale. The Member recounted his experience at the Kamina Barracks (Tamale):"where the soldiers had heaped stones on their roofs to keep them from the ravages of the wind".

He said previous committees on Defence had sought to empathise with the Ministers of Defence instead of seeking a proper collaboration with the view to exercising its oversight responsibilities.

The Member said the budget hearing cycle should not be reduced to an annual ritual where "Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) come with their buckets to be filled".

He urged the Ministry of Finance to speed up with the releases of budgetary allocations so that MDAs would make meaning of what was allocated to them.

Alhaji Dr. Capt Mustapha Ahmed (rtd), NDC-Ayawaso East, appealed to the Government to give out contracts for the rehabilitation of military infrastructure to the Military Engineer Corps.

He said that would make them more useful to the Military establishment and the nation as a whole.

Earlier, the House approved 27,971 million for the services of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and 9,520 million cedis for the services of the Ministry of Regional Cooperation and NEPAD for the 2006 fiscal year.

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