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General News of Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Source: GNA

Veep advises MMDA

Accra, July 20, GNA - Vice President John Dramani Mahama on Wednesday appealed to Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to provide residential accommodation and offices to support the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) to save life and property.

In a speech read on his behalf by Dr Benjamin Kunbour, Minister for the Interior, the Vice President also called on property owners to comply with fire safety requirements prescribed by the law and co-operate with fire safety inspectors to ensure compliance.

He was speaking on Wednesday at the Ninth Graduation of GNFS in Accra, which saw the induction of 94 cadet officers.

Vice President Mahama announced Government’s intention of recruiting 3,000 officers of the GNFS for 2010-2012 with a yearly intake of 1,000.

He commended the GNFS for its contribution towards the socio-economic development of the country adding that an effective and efficient fire service was a good insurance to Ghana’s valuable investments.

“Investors in the industrial, hospitality and agricultural sectors will only be attracted to Ghana if they can be assured that their factories, hotels, restaurants and farms can be protected from the ravages of fire.”

He said a comparative analysis of the statistics collated by the GNFS for 2009/10 revealed fire outbreaks had declined by 314.

The Vice President attributed the decline in the figures to intensification of public fire safety education and engagements with the public in the area of fire prevention.

He said Ghana and South Africa were the only two countries in Africa that had measured up to the international road traffic collusion rescue operations requirements.

“These two countries represented Africa at the World Cup in Road Traffic Collusion Extrication Challenge,” he said, adding that Ghana participated in 2008 in South Wales, United Kingdom, and in 2009 in Frankfurt, Germany.

Vice President Mahama said the government had started procuring fire fighting engines and equipment for the GNFS adding that a total of 227 fire fighting tenders and equipment were yet to be received.

He called on the new officers to be committed to their profession and to co-operate with the public to minimise fire outbreaks.

Dr Kunbour inspected the parade which marched to the delight of the audience.

Nii Armah Ashitey, Greater Accra Regional Minister and Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, the Inspector General of Police were among dignitaries present.