General News of Wednesday, 19 July 2017
Members of Parliament (MPs) have been left stranded without offices to work from as officers of the Ghana National Fire Service have shut down the Job 600 building as a result of a fire Tuesday night.
The fire ravaged the 10th floor of the 12-floor edifice, which was commissioned in 2015.
The development has caused discomfort to Parliamentarians, as many of them are stranded and wondering about as fire officers audit the 10th floor.
Although the cause of the fire has not been established, some sources within the Fire Service believe it would have been as a result of an electrical fault.
According to Joy News’ Parliamentary correspondent, Joseph Opoku Gakpo, not only the MPs are left stranded but their staffs were also seen wondering about on the premises.
He said the MPs are worried because some of them have scheduled meetings in their office, which they have to make alternative arrangements.
One of the affected MPs, James Klutse Avedzi told Joy News that the incident has affected the work of the House because instead of them sitting the MPs are scattered around.
James Klutse Avedzi
The Ketu North MP was hopeful the situation will be cleared so it does not delay their work further.
He said the MPs either have to sit in the chamber, hang around the lobby or the new office complex to wait for parliamentary proceedings to start.
According to him, it will be an eye opening experience to new MPs who were lucky to have offices to work from, upon joining the House.
He said for some of them who hang to work outside their offices before Job 600 was completed and commissioned, they are used to the situation albeit discomforting.
“For now we do not have the official statement too from the Fire Service so we have to wait for them to finish their work. It is good that we know the cause of the fire so when the building is opened, members will be more careful,” he said.
He confirmed that currently there is no electricity supply in the building since it was put off yesterday evening during the fire.
“This is because if the fire is caused an electric spark, supplying power to the building can cause the same problem,” he said urging MPs to give them time to do a thorough job for their own safety.
Meanwhile, the Head of Public Affairs at Parliament, Kate Addo, said the extent of the damage is minimal.
She explained that a photocopier in an adjoining room developed a fault and started the fire.
“The firemen were able to isolate the fire and deal with it in that space. So the main office and other offices were not affected. The rest of the floor was also safe from the fire,” he told Joy News.
According to her, although there was an arrangement with the contractors to be on hand to fix problems with the building after the handing over, that did not include things like fire.
She is, however, hopeful they will be available to deal with the matter.
Mrs Addo is hopeful personnel from the Fire Service will finish by close of day Wednesday, so they can access the building.
“Billy Anaglate, PRO of the Fire Service, indicated that the fire tenders, extinguisher and alarm systems were all in good shape and we should not be overly alarmed.
“We take it that what is happening now is only precautionary,” she explained.