The Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has debunked reports suggesting that some GHS 147million was consumed by the fire that gutted its Head Office Annex in Accra Sunday, ABC News can report.
The Authority’s Head Office Annex, located on the Ring Road, near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange was engulfed by an inferno Sunday morning.
Although the blaze was contained by firefighters, reports suggested that over GHC 140m million had been lost to the fire.
Addressing the press on Sunday, GRA Board Chairman, Professor Stephen Adei, described the reports as false, indicating that no amount was lost to the fire.
Prof Adei also gave the assurance that important documents have been secured since the Authority has a safe backup system in place.
The GRA Board Chair further stated that the fire should not prevent citizens from transacting businesses with other branches of GRA.
It took personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service more than two hours to douse the fire, which, according to eyewitnesses started around 9am Sunday.
According to eyewitnesses, it took the team about two and half hours to completely extinguish the fire but managed to prevent the fire from extending to other parts of the building.
Explaining what accounted for the delay, the Public Relations Officer of the Ghana Fire Service, Elis Robinson Okoe said his men struggled to get access to the building as all the doors had been locked at the time of the disaster.
He said the team resorted to the windows to gain entry, a move he described as challenging.
“It is because we don’t have access to the building. They are using the window instead of opening doors and other things so we can pass through and get to the place. Everything was locked. We gained access to the place through the back window,” he said.
He further explained that “the challenge we also have here is that there is no hydrant around here. That is why you see a lot of water tankers around here.”
The cause of the fire remains unknown. However, Mr Robinson Okoe said the Service will commence investigations into the incident forthwith to ascertain what led to the blaze.