General News of Friday, 14 August 2020
Source: Atinka Online
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Parliament has approved government’s request to borrow a total of One Hundred and Sixty Six Million One Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars (USD 166,120,000) to purchase armoured vehicles from Israel for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The armoured vehicles to be supplied under the contract agreements include Ten Units 8×8 Armoured Vehicles, Ten Units 6×6 Armoured Vehicles and 5000-30MM Ammunitions for building and maintaining adequate military capabilities and high combat readiness to enable the Ghana Armed Forces continue to be central to achieving defence and security goals.
The first facility was between government of Ghana (represented by the Ministry of Finance) and Israel Discount Bank Limited for an amount of Seventy-Four Million, One Hundred and Twenty Thousand United States Dollars (USD 74,120,000) to finance the supply of Armoured Vehicles to Government of Ghana.
The House also approved government’s request for a Commercial Loan Agreement between Government of Ghana and the same Israel Discount Bank for an amount of Twelve Million Untied States Dollars (USD 12,000,000) for supply of Armoured Vehicles.
The third and final facility approved is a contract agreement between government of Ghana and Elbit Systems Land Limited of Israel for an amount of Eighty Million Untied States Dollars (USD 80,000,000) for supply of Armoured Vehicles.
The loan agreements were separately laid by the Minister for Monitoring and Evaluation Hon. Anthony Akoto-Osei and the Minister responsible for Defence Hon. Dominic Nitiwul on
Monday August 3 and consequently referred to the Joint Committee for Defence and Interior and the Finance Committee by the Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Professor Michael Oquaye.
Chairman of the Finance Committee Hon Mark Assibey-Yeboah presenting the Memorandum accompanying the loan facility before approval on Thursday 13th August 2020 indicated that the current threat of vigilantism and other boarder threats from the neighbouring countries especially the Sahel Region, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and Ghana’s western boundary dispute between Ghana and Ivory Coast indicate that the Ghana Armed Forces needs to prepare.
He said over the years, the country has been keen on equipping the military with modern equipment to ensure that the military is adequately resourced to work effectively and efficiently particularly in the newly established 154 Armoured Regiment Unit in Sunyani yet some of the equipment owned by the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) have become obsolete over the years.
According to him, the contemporary threats of the time definitely require modern weapons and equipment with highly trained personnel to achieve the desired goals and that Government therefore has, as part of its priority, the need to adequately equip the military with equipment which guarantee protection and mobility as well as efficient fire power to carry out its mandate.
In support of the goal to achieve a more robust combat-ready military, government is committed to ensuring the development of military power through enhanced realistic combat training, featuring multi-service exercises and mobility operations, Mark Assibey Yeboah stated.
The joint Committees therefore invited Parliament to consider and approve the Contracts for the acquisition of the armoured vehicles to augment the fleet of the Ghana Army with modern equipment and also ensure that Ghanaian troops are safe when deployed in securing and safeguarding the country’s borders.
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