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GAF lacks means to protect territorial waters
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General News of Thursday, 7 September 2006

Source: Chronicle

GAF lacks means to protect territorial waters

IN THE wake of the cocaine scandal that has hit our country, Ghana’s Defence Minister has noted that the Ghana Armed Forces did not have the means to adequately block the smuggle of narcotics and other drugs into our country. Dr. Kwame Addo Kufuor said although it was the army’s responsibility to patrol our territorial waters on a daily basis, the Armed Forces did not have the requisite logistics to effectively perform these responsibilities.

Addressing students of the Takoradi Polytechnic campus of the Tertiary Education Students Confederacy Network (TESCON) of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) last Friday, the Minister said although recently most of the drugs had come into our country by sea, what most Ghanaians did not appreciate was the fact that the maritime zone of Ghana was wide.

“The maritime zone of Ghana is wide, but do you have any idea how many ships we have?” he asked the students who responded with one booming voice saying “no”.

According to the Minister, Ghana did not have ships and the “few worthy ones are very few indeed”.

Beside this, he said to put a ship on the high seas for 24 hours with petroleum prices what they currently stand at, would mean the need for an increase in the Defence Ministry’s budget to compete with budget allocated to other Ministries.

Beside this, he said to put a ship on the high seas for 24 hours with petroleum prices what they currently stand at, would mean the need for an increase in the Defence Ministry’s budget to compete with budget allocated to other Ministries.

According to him, the Defence budget was “very faint” and after the personnel of the military had been settled with their monthly salaries, very little was left over, adding that the budget was 2% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Dr. Addo Kufuor added, “Nevertheless, it is our duty to protect the maritime zone of Ghana”.

He donated an amount of five million cedis to TESCON, two million cedis of which was the Regional Minister, Hon. A. E. Amoah’s contribution.

The National Youth wing of the party and the Regional Secretariat also donated 2.5 and one million cedis respectively.

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