Mr Speaker, we have
Mr Speaker, I beg to support the Motion on the floor, moved by the Chairman of the Finance Committee. Mr Speaker, I think that this is another very important Motion before us and which we must all support.
Mr Speaker, I want to remind the Ranking Member that as a member of the Committee, we should all think about the requirements of the military when it comes to the budget session. I will take this opportunity, if the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning would listen, to tell him to ensure that provision is made for the Army to take care of its requirements as outlined by the Ranking Member.
So, I will count on the support of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in giving their allocations this year and also again ensure that the
allocations are not just allocations but that they actually meet the allocations in cash, not on paper. We do not want paper allocations or paper promises.
Mr Speaker, the Ghana Armed Forces,
as was said by the immediate past Minister for Defence, is one of the best in Africa. In fact, we can keep singing their praises until “kingdom come”. But I must say that unfortunately, it is not properly equipped, even though they are doing their best with the equipment that we have for them. Since it is a Closed Sitting, we can say that every member of the Armed Forces, if they were to stand in line and it was asked that they be given a gun each, I do not think each of them will get one. Not all of them will get a gun.
Number two, the guns that we have are not the latest guns on the market. We ought to have them equipped with the latest brand of equipment and the latest brand of firearms so that they can continue to give of their best as they do right now. In fact, all of us should be proud of them, and to show that we are proud of them; let us support these types of loans for their improvement when they come before us.
Mr Speaker, the Hon Ranking Member
has talked about the improvement of certain facilities within the Army. I have gone round most of the barracks in the country with my Committee. Mr Speaker, it is sad to see the state of the facilities in the barracks. I will give an example of the Tamale Military Hospital, what we call “Mile Six”, at Kamina Barracks. It used to be the only health facility that was supporting the health of the people of at least, one-third of Tamale.
Now, the roof is almost coming down onto the floor. There is not a clinic, any more ; we cannot call it a clinic even not to talk of hospital. The messes of the barracks around the country are in a very sorry state. I do not know how we are able to maintain the morale of the men and officers of the Army, which is very
essential for their performance. Mr Speaker, there are so many things
that are wrong with the Army that I even think that - I will say humbly to the Hon Minister for Defence that they have to come again, and again, and again, if we are to improve the facilities and equipment and make our Armed Forces battle ready. They have to come again and again and ensure that they improve on the facilities and that we properly equip them to perform the way we want them to perform. So, this is just for me, a tip of the iceberg, more should come later.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I
would pray the House to endorse this loan, approve it and we of the Committee on Defence and Interior will make sure that we exercise our supervisory role to ensure that this loan is spent for the purpose for which it has been acquired.
Mr Speaker, with these few words, I will sit down and allow any other member of my Committee to talk.
Mr Stephen K. B. Manu (NPP -
Ahafo Ano South): ‘Mr Speaker, I rise to contribute to the Motion and I declare my support for the Motion right from the start.
Mr Speaker, when it comes to issues
bordering the military, and sometimes the police, the fire service, the immigration - the security forces - we have to be dispassionate in discussing them. I do not want to go into the history of the Ghana Armed Forces. It has been in existence for ages, certainly, before I was born - [Interruption] - and the situation in which they find themselves today has been the same as when it started, particularly when it --