A retired Captain of the Ghana Army, Ebenezer Budu-Koomson, has said the opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) proposal to review upwards the period before retirement for army recruits would be a step in the right direction.
Whilst calling for “dispassionate discussion and planning” on such a proposal, he stated that, such a move would at the very least prevent army personnel from being forced to retire and possibly add to unemployment statistics.
Currently, the recruits retire after 25 years, but the NPP has indicated its intent to extend the period before retirement by five years.
“We can’t continue to the do the same things the same way and expect new results; so it is good. Let us look at it dispassionately and if it will solve some problems, let us look at it and solve the problems,” Captain Koomson said on Eyewitness News.
“At the moment, I am in corporate Ghana. At 45, you are looking at very well experienced, healthy talented people trained at the expense of the state; and you send them out to be unemployed. This situation should make us pause and start thinking through properly what we do with our planning.”
“We are throwing away able-bodied well trained men and we are lucky they haven’t used their skills for negative work,” he added.
Captain Budu-Koomson also downplayed suggestions that extending the stay of recruits by five years would leave the army saddled with personnel too old to function effectively.
Buttressing his argument, Captain Budu-Koomson said; “What is the demographic in the military as we speak? Is it so that if you have a lopsided old age army so if we start saying that we are planning to extend the retirement age or the time we can spend within the period; then suddenly we have about 50
percent of them walking on crutches?”
NPP to review Army retirement age upwards
The Chairman of the NPP’s sub-committee on Defense and Interior, and MP for Bimbila, Dominic Nitiwul, who confirmed this to journalists, said: “we believe that the men and women of the Ghana Armed Forces will not be focused more on combat any longer. They will be more focused on terrorism, cyber-crime, helping the people, engaging in things that will support the nation as well as defend the territorial integrity of this nation.”
“The convention of allowing our men to retire after serving 25 years particularly the other ranks, we will be reviewing it to look at the possibility of adding five more years. That means that, unless you want to retire voluntarily, you would have the opportunity to retire after 30 years in the force,” he added.
Mr. Nitiwul explained that, this proposal is in the name of equity explaining that, “if a civil servant is allowed to retire at 60 years, you don’t ask somebody in the army to retire at 45 years if he enters at 20 years and then he goes home and has nothing to do.”
As reported by www.citifmonline.com