Fire Service Shames Accusers Over GH¢1.5m Embezzlement Allegation

IT HAS emerged that Dr Albert Brown Gaisie, the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), has never been a signatory to the welfare contribution account of personnel of the GNFS.

The GNFS, in 2013 and under the former CFO, Brigadier General John Bosco Guyir, established a welfare contribution scheme for active members of the service to be managed by the executive board of the scheme whose members are elected from the contributors.

The revelation comes on the back of allegations by some retired personnel of the GNFS that the current CFO and his administration have failed to account for the monies meant for the fund.

The retired staff also impugned the current administration for the misappropriation of the welfare fund into which active personnel pay GH¢ 5.00 as monthly contribution.

Checks by the DAILY HERITAGE for confirmation or otherwise of the allegations revealed that an audit was conducted in September 2015 into the operations of the welfare account whose board is headed by DOIII Joseph Tetteh Freeman.

The report chanced upon by the paper contains the amount accrued so far, and a copy of it was available to all contributors for perusal.

In 2013, the total contribution amounted to GH¢ 330,750.00, while in 2014, the total contribution amounted to GH¢ 429,960.00. In 2015, the total contribution amounted to GH¢ 308,385.00. As of 2015, the total contribution amounted to GH¢ 1,069,095.00.

The fund, as of August 2017, is expected to be more than GH¢1.5m and remains untouched and is managed by the executive board of the welfare scheme. The details are available for all contributors to independently evaluate.

The paper also gathered that the previous Fire Service Council set up a committee to evaluate the welfare fund and proffer ways by which the contributors would enjoy the fruit of their labour.

The new Fire Service Council, the paper also gathered, is expected to take it from where the previous Council left off and ensure the fund is properly disbursed.

When the DAILY HERITAGE caught up with Prince Billy Anaglate, the Public Relations Officer of the GNFS, he rubbished claims that the fund had been misappropriated and urged all who have concerns to contact the executives of the welfare fund for clarification.

Rent allowance

He disclosed to the paper that the current administration, headed by Dr Gaisie, is working hard to improve the conditions of the personnel and enhance morale.

He disclosed that for the first time since 1963 when the GNFS was established, personnel of the service who do not live in government bungalows would be paid 20% of their salary every month as rent allowance.

Anaglate said the government had given the approval and a five-month-arrears has been cleared for disbursement to the personnel following which a monthly rent allowance will be paid to them.

He said currently, a total of 653 personnel had received new promotions approved by the Council.

The promotions take effect from September 1, 2017. In all, 6, 526 personnel of the GNFS have been promoted since December 2014.