Ghana Revenue Authority suspects arson in December 1 fire at Large Taxpayer Office Featured

By News Desk December 11, 2019 2016 0

Following the inferno that gutted the Large Taxpayer Office of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra on December 1, management announced at a press conference yesterday that they suspect an arson attack.

According to Ammishaddai Owusu-Amoah, the Authority’s Acting Commissioner General, the GRA is working with the Ghana National Fire Service to carry out a full investigation into the cause of the fire.

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“We have not necessarily seen the detailed report as referred to,” he said, “but we do not deny the fact that they [the Ghana National Fire Service] do come from time to time [to see] that the right thing is done as far as our buildings are concerned.

“We are in constant touch with them, so whatever needs to be done will be done as far as our safety is concerned.

“We cannot at this moment say that there was arson as it is being said. But we cannot rule anything out as far as investigation is concerned,” Mr Owusu-Amoah told reporters.

The fire, which the GRA says started around 4am on the Sunday, resulted in “extensive structural damage” to its ICT centre.

However, the GRA said at the time that “existing systems back-up does not only ensure the recovery of files, but also business continuity”.

Some onlookers were unimpressed by the Ghana National Fire Service’s handling of the blaze and accused firemen of not being prepared for such events.

The Fire Service has since launched a full investigation to determine the real cause of the fire.

New offices

Meanwhile, the Authority has announced plans to rent offices by Monday to cater for its large taxpayers and serve as alternative offices pending relocation.

“Looking at the current building, we are not too sure how we can quickly renovate and put it back into use. Therefore, arrangements are far advanced to rent some new offices where we will operate temporarily.

“We expect that, come Monday, the largest and medium taxpayers’ office will be in a new office to deliver the full service in one location,” Mr Owusu-Amoah said.

The GRA said the blaze had not led to the loss of any data. In a statement after the fire, it also said reports that it had lost cash in the fire were “fake news”.

“Data is safe and no loss of cash or cheques has been recorded after a fire outbreak.

“In essence, our core data is safe, as all GRA files are automatically backed up at an offsite data centre,” the statement said.

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