GNFS PRESS CONFERENCE...

GNFS PRESS CONFERENCE ON RECENT NEGATIVE MEDIA REPORTAGE ABOUT THE GNFS BY SOME SECTIONS OF THE MEDIA BY PRO DOI PRINCE BILLY ANAGLATE AT THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS ON THE 4TH APRIL, 2017.

Directors of the Ghana National Fire Service Officers and men Distinguished member of the Press Ladies and Gentlemen I wish to welcome you all to this morning’s press conference to talk about the recent unpalatable deliberations and negative reportage about the Fire Service. The Management of the Ghana National Fire Service has noted with utmost dismay the spate of recent negative publications on the Service by some sections of the Media. Ladies and gentlemen, these statements reportage which all are only intended concocted and fabricated to malign damage and bring the image of the Service into disrepute. The recent case in point is the Monday 3rd April, to Tuesday, 4th April, 2017 edition of The Observer newspaper with the headline ‘CHOP CHOP AT FIRE SERVICE. ‘ Friends of the inky fraternity, as much as the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) appreciates the efforts of the Media to bring to the fore, difficulties and challenges facing the Service for public attention, one would have however, thought that due diligence would have been done by those Media houses including The Observer Newspaper by way of giving an equal opportunity to the Service to clarify issues raised before putting such untrue information in public domain. There were certain misrepresentations and inaccuracies that need to be clarified.

The fact of the matter is that, in 2016, the Ghana National Fire Service and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) signed an MOU to train two thousand (2,000) civilians to occupy the Fire Safety Assistants Module YEA for a period of twelve weeks. The limited capacity of the Fire Academy and Training School could not absorb all the 2,000 trainees at ago. The number was then divided into four groups of 500 each and given a three weeks training for each group, which amounted to twelve weeks as prescribed by the MOU. The Ghana National Fire Service then had a contract Agreement on the 6th May, 2016 with Salve Enterprise Limited to supply food items for the twelve weeks. Based on the MOU items were delivered according to specifications. It will interest you to know that all relevant documents including waybills are available for verification. Friends of the inky fraternity, again, there was an MOU between the Ghana National Fire Service and the Youth Employment Agency (YEA) to renovate the Dormitories, Classrooms and the Kitchen of the Fire Academy and Training School prior to the commencement of the training of the Fire Safety Assistants. An amount of Two Hundred and Thirty – Nine Thousand and Sixty-seven Ghana Cedis was released by the YEA to the GNFS for the renovation and not two million as quoted by The Observer News Paper.

Ladies and gentlemen, in line with the above the GNFS on the 9th May, 2016, Contracted YUSSIF HALI ENTERPRISE LIMITED to supply building materials for the Service Artisans to a sum of two hundred and Thirty- Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Sixty-Seven Ghana Cedis. The documents are readily available for verification. Again, the GNFS received an amount of Eighty-nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Sixty Seven Ghana Cedis from the YEA towards the capacity building for selected Fire Safety Assistants. However, the very training School slated for the Capacity building is currently engaged in the training of the Fire Service Recruits pending the passing out of the Recruits. The money is securely kept in the Accounts of the Commandant of the Training School. The document is available for verification. Ladies and gentlemen, the Chief Fire Officer does not control, neither does he determine the disbursement of the money accrued from the sales of recruitment forms. The Fire Service Act, 537, 1997 empowered the Fire Service Council to determine how much monies are disbursed and utilized. However, twenty percent (20%) – ICT Legon and 5 percent (5%) of the total money accrued from the sales of the forms were paid to the ICT department of University of Legon and Ghana Commercial Bank respectively for their contributions towards the sales of the forms. Additionally, some of expenditure incurred for administrative and transportation of Officers of the Service from the Headquarters to the Ten Regions to administer and supervise the recruitment exercise. In September, 2016, the Ghana National Fire Service received an amount of One Hundred Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢ 100,000.00) from the National Insurance Commission which was used to purchase fuel coupons for the running of Vehicles in the Regions and not the 1.2million as quoted by the Ghanaian Observer Newspaper. The money was released by NIC after the Service had sent letters requesting for assistance for fuel. The NIC assisted and relevant documents are available for clarification/examination. The Service would however, wish to use this opportunity to appeal to the Media, social commentators and other individuals who have concerns over issues related to Ghana National Fire Service to kindly approach the Command of the Service and seek verifications before airing them out. This would promote balance reportage of issues concerning the Service.

It is significant to recognize the fact that the Service has chalked several successes both locally and internationally and this can be buttressed by the numerous local and international Awards received by the Chief Fire Officer. Fire Fighting or Fire Engineering is a specialized function. This therefore requires the media to seek regular feedback before starting opinion on operational and administrative issues. Please do not hesitate to call on us. I urge you to reject the clandestine and destructive efforts by people who wants to tarnish our hard won reputation. God bless you.