The Ghana Revenue Authority has indicated that it cannot rule out arson as a possible cause of the fire that gutted its Head Office annex near the Kwame Nkrumah Interchange in Accra last week, ABC News can report.
Addressing the press in Accra today, the Acting Commissioner-General of the GRA, Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah said although the cause of the fire is yet to be determined as investigations were still ongoing, it cannot disregard anything that has the tendency to cause the fire.
According to him, the Authority has over years collaborated with the Ghana National Fire Service in ensuring the safety of its facilities. Many of its offices, he said, had the necessary facilities, including smoke detectors installed to forestall disaster.
Mr Owusu-Amoah said the GRA is thus, working with the GNFS to ascertain the actual cause of the fire to guide its future safety policies and practices.
“We have not necessarily seen the detailed report as referred to but we won’t also deny the fact that they[Fire Service] come from time to time to work on it, sometimes at our own invitation to ensure that the right thing is done as far as our building is concerned. We are in constant touch with them as far as the GNFS is concerned and whatever needs to be done will be done as far as the safety of our area is concerned.
“In terms of the smoke detectors, we do have smoke detectors in some of our buildings and we constantly continue to improve on them. We cannot at this moment say that there was arson or anything per se but we cannot rule anything out as far as investigation is concerned,” Mr Owusu-Amoah stated.
According to the GRA, the fire, which occurred on Sunday, December 1, 2019 resulted in “extensive structural damage to its ICT centre.”
The Authority however, noted that the fire did not result in the loss of any data as it had effective back-up systems in place to ensure recovery of files. It also debunked reports suggesting that millions of cedis had been lost to the fire.
Mr Owusu-Amoah announced plans by the Authority to rent new offices to cater for its large tax payers by Monday to serve as alternative offices for clients as renovation works commences at its Head Office.
“Looking at the current building, we are not too sure as to how quickly we can renovate and put it back into operation. Therefore arrangements are far advanced to rent some new offices where they will operate temporarily. We expect that before Monday, LTOs as well as the medium tax payers will be in a new location where they will deliver the full service from one location.,” he said.