The Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) has come under fire for delays in issuing fire safety compliance certificates to service providers who conduct fire safety checks for organisations.
“The issue is that the time they use to present the certificate to us is unacceptable; because you can apply for a fire certificate and it can take you almost the whole year”- the Administrator, Ghana Region, of the Occupational Safety and Health Association UK, Richmond Quartey revealed to XYZ News’ Joe Bright Nyarko.
“As I’m talking to you now, I made an application for a renewal of fire certificate last year, and as at now, as I’m talking to you I have not had that certificate not even a word to say the certificate is coming tomorrow or tomorrow next. And I have been to the office several times to enquire, all the time they tell me; it is not in…it is not in…from head office” he said adding that he could not tell where the problem was coming from.
Mr. Quatey who is also the Director of Richmaa Risk Consult lamented that the situation is making the service providers incur financial losses since clients of service providers withhold payments for job done because the Ghana Fire Service failed to issue the certificates which the service providers needed to request payment.
“This certificate has locked my money because I’m working as a consultant to another company which I have to use my own money to process this certificate and the company is not going to pay me back until they see the certificate; so that money I invested in acquiring that certificate is now locked for a year”.
“So, just imagine if I invested an amount of GHS 200 for a year and I have not had this certificate for all this while, now if I have the certificates what I’m I going to do with it?” he queried.
Asked if he had made official complaints to the GNFS, Mr. Quartey said: “yes…I have made official complaints to the regional fire officer at where I am and he really assured me that he is going to see to it that the right thing is done…and that I will receive my certificates in due time…and I’m still waiting.”
The flak on the GNFS came at a time the service assured the public it was doing all it could to drastically reduce the incidence of preventable fires.
A taskforce was to be dispatched to various public institutions around the capital to assess their compliance with fire safety measures.
By: Joe Bright Nyarko
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.