Mr Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence has revealed that 10,000 national service personnel would be selected to embark on six months of military training as part of their national service next year.
According to him, officials of the National Service Scheme (NSS) have already written to the military to inform them about the exercise.Mr Nitiwul made the revelation when he spoke to the media after appearing before the Public Account Committee (PAC) over the 2015 Auditor General’s Report.
The PAC is currently holding public sittings on the Report of the Auditor General for the Public Accounts of Ghana for the year ended 31st December, 2015.
Mr Nitiwul also stated that the law to allow service personnel to do military training already existed.
He explained that the National Service Act allows service personnel to do two years of national service and six months of military training.
He said the reason why for a long time the country could not undertake this programme was as a result of lack of capacity.
Mr Nitiwul also noted that the military has given a positive response to the officials of the National Service Scheme that the exercise was feasible.
He said despite some logistical constrains in terms of training facilities, however, this year the government was making available resources to ensure that the training facilities for the Army, Navy and the Air force were rehabilitated to enable them start the exercise.
He said the discipline that came with the military training for the service personnel would be important for the country’s development, adding that this would also instil a bit of nationalism into the people.
Mr Nitiwul also announced that the Anti-Galamsey Taskforce deployed to the various mining areas were working very well.
He rejected claims that members of the taskforce were trigger-happy, saying though there have been skirmishes between the taskforce and some illegal miners which has resulted in some deaths, however these were regrettable incidents.
He said the taskforce were properly trained for the exercise and their operations have been successful in controlling the activities of the illegal miners.
Mr Nitiwul appealed to Ghanaians especially those in mining communities to cooperate with taskforce to ensure that things went smoothly.
He said it was not the intention of the government to stop mining but to put in place proper measures to ensure that mining was done properly.
He said though some people have made suggestions that the number of the taskforce was not enough for the exercise, he however stated that the current figure was doing a good job and that the public must give them time to perform.