Huge recruits numbers force Ghana Fire Service to turn SHS into recruits training camp

Officials of the Ghana National Fire Service have had to use a Senior High School (SHS) at Ada in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region due to the backlog of recruits who needed to be trained.

Minister of Interior Ambrose P. Dery who revealed this at the sidelines of a two-day training programme for Crime Officers, stated that the facility though not approved had to be used for three months in order to reduce the numbers of persons waiting to be trained.

“The agencies are still struggling especially the Fire Service. They had to use a school in Ada for three months to be able to cope with the facilities”, he disclosed in reaction to claims made  by the minority ranking member of Defense and Interior, James Agalga of secret recruitment in the security agencies.

The Minister stressed “there is no truth in the fact that there is any secret recruitment anywhere”

It would be recalled that the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) on Wednesday October 30, 2019 accused the New Patriotic Party (NPP) of secretly recruiting party thugs into the security services, stressing that the 2018 list of qualified police recruits was replaced with a list of these persons.

In a press statement released and signed by James Agalga, the ranking member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, they accused the Interior Ministry of secretly recruiting persons into agencies under the ministry “in total disregard of established procedures for the recruitment of personnel into those agencies” in favour of “those connected to the NPP in one way or the other.”

“The attention of the Minority in Parliament has been drawn to an ongoing recruitment exercise of personnel into agencies under the Ministry of the Interior namely; the Police Service, Prisons Service and the Ghana Immigration Service in total disregard of established procedures for the recruitment of personnel into those agencies,” the press statement states in its opening paragraph.

The statement then detailed how the government halted the lawful process of recruitment into the police service and replaced the list of properly selected and qualified candidates with a list provided by the government:

“In specific reference to the Police, sometime in 2018, the government of President Akufo Addo announced that financial clearance had been given for the recruitment of 4000 personnel into the service. Accordingly, the service advertised for the recruitment of 2000 in the first instance, whereupon, prospective recruits applied through the e-recruitment model. The applicants, we are reliably informed went through all the necessary procedures including meeting the academic requirement of having a minimum of six credits (Maths and English inclusive), taking part in a competitive exam and going through a thorough medical examination. After this, the Police administration then compiled a list of qualified applicants in readiness for publication and the issuance of invitation letters for the commencement of training.

The otherwise smooth recruitment exercise embarked upon by the Police administration took a nosedive when the government of President Akufo Addo suddenly ordered the former Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Asante Apeatu to suspend the recruitment exercise until further notice.

Subsequently, a new list other than the list originally prepared by the Police administration was compiled and submitted by the government of President Akufo Addo to the police administration for the issuance of invitation letters for training.

The crux of the above narrative is that the recruitment exercise undertaken by the police administration in 2018 following the grant of financial clearance by the Finance Ministry was truncated at the tail end and taken over directly by the NPP government contrary to its own commitment to stamp out fraud and cronyism from the recruitment of personnel into the security agencies,” the statement revealed.