General News of Saturday, 2 September 2017
Source: Prince Billy Anaglate
The attention of the Command of the Ghana National Fire Service has been drawn to allegations made by one Bartholomew Kofi Nketiah on Tuesday, 29th August, 2017 edition of your “Ghana Dadwene” programme on Onua FM.
Management of the Ghana National Fire Service has noticed with utmost concern the incessant attempts by Bartholomew Kofi Nketiah to denigrate the Persona and hard won the reputation of the Chief Fire Officer, Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie.
The issues raised and discussed by Mr. Nketiah about the Chief Fire Officer could only be described as mischievous, concocted if not absolute lies. It is obvious the complainant, Mr. Nketiah does not have adequate knowledge on current internal issues of the Service.
The fact of the matter is that, the Fire Officers’ Development Fund which he complained of, was established in March, 2013 during the former Chief Fire Officer Guyiri’s tenure of office. The fund was established to invest in developmental projects especially in the areas of health, the hospitality industry, transport and such others that will enhance the welfare of both serving and Retired Fire Officers.
It was decided that both Active and Retired Officers should contribute GH? 5.00 and GH? 2.00 respectively, to the fund monthly. The active Officers are constantly contributing through a monthly deduction from Accountant General’s Department. However, not a single contribution from the Retired Fire Officers’ has so far been made to the fund.
On 19th September 2016, the former Fire Service Council under the Chairmanship of Hon. Kenneth Dzirasah directed the Chief Fire Officer to lodge money accrued to the fund with the National Welfare Fund, which is managed by elected Executives of the serving Officers. The Chief Fire Officer complied with the directive and it must be emphasized that he is not a signatory to the fund.
It is worth noting that the directive to lodge the money accrued to the Fire Officers’ Development Fund with the National Welfare Fund for investment was necessitated by similar agitations by some Retired Officers at the time who claimed ownership of the fund and demanded that monies accrued so far be given to the Retired Fire Officers’ Association. The question, however, was how do you claim ownership of something you did not make any contribution towards?
As a result, the former Fire Service Council constituted a Five (5) Member Committee chaired by Mr. Ralph Kuuzegh, a member of the Council then, with two representatives each from the Service and Retired Fire Officers’ Association. The Committee was tasked to review the constitution for the Fire Officers’ Development Fund.
Furthermore, the allegation of sidelining personnel due for promotion in the Service is a blatant lie. Never in the history of the Fire Service has there been massive promotions as is the case during the tenure of the current Chief Fire Officer. A total of 4,975 Officers representing 73.6% of the total manpower of the Service have been promoted since Dr. Albert Brown Gaisie assumed office as Chief Fire Officer. This comprises a total of 571 Senior Officers and 4,404 Junior Officers representing 75.3% and 73.4% respectively.
Promotion to the Senior Officer Grades is done following due process and procedures. The Public Services Commission, the Ministry of the Interior and among others an appointed member of the Fire Service Council form the Interview Board. A Report on the Interview is submitted directly to the Council for approval. The Chief Fire Officer has no control and involvement whatsoever in the success or otherwise of eligible Officers.
The allegation that the Chief Fire Officer is carried in a wheel chair is false. The Chief Fire Officer is well and performs his duties as required of him.
I would be grateful if this rejoinder is brought to the attention of your cherished readers.
PRINCE BILLY ANAGLATE
DEP. DIRECTOR (PUBLIC RELATIONS