Soldiers To Serve 30 Years Before Retirement But Minority Opposes New Law

The minority in Parliament has kicked against a new law that will allow junior ranks in the Ghana Armed Forces to serve for 30 years before retirement.

Until Tuesday when the new law came into effect, persons who served 25 years in the Ghana Armed Force automatically retired whether they have achieved the country’s retirement age of 60 or otherwise.

Minority spokesperson on Defence and the Interior, James Agalga, held the new law is not a laudable idea.

He argued an effective force must be youthful and agile, but warned the new law will only weaken the force instead of enhancing its ability.

“The point that needs to be made is that we are here talking about a fighting force, a fighting force is one that must be agile, a fighting force is one that must be youthful,” he said, but added “a policy which seeks to extend the service period of the other ranks from 25 years to 30 years in my view is a misplaced priority,”

In contended that the law “should not be pursued [because] a fighting force which is aged cannot have the spirit and efficiency to defend our territorial integrity”.

The Builsa North MP claimed a research he conducted showed the service period for the Ghanaian military is far more than that of the United Kingdom and the United States, hence does not see why it should be increased again.

“In the UK for instance, the maximum period of service for service men and women is 22 years, in the United states, the maximum period of service for the other ranks is 18 years and so we are even more advanced in terms of the service period,” he argued.

He further raised concerns about the implications of the extension of service years on the health of the officers and on the public purse.

But the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul questioned why Mr. Agalga who is a ranking member of the committee which passed the LI would turn around to raise concerns.

“This policy was bought into this house in the form of an LI, LI 1332. This Parliament has accepted it as at yesterday; the 21 days has elapsed; it has become law”.

He thus did not understand why the MP would come back in an attempt to debate the law which his committee deliberated on and approved.