The Ghana National Fire Service is to take action against owners of a fuel station that is likely to pose fire threat to the residents around Pambros, near Weija in Accra in the Ga South Municipality.
The Service says notwithstanding the revocation of the fire permit that was issued to the owners of the fuel station [Lucky Oil] in 2012, the owners went ahead to construct the building for the station.
The withdrawal of the fire permit, officials say, was due to the closeness of the Lucky fuel Station’s closeness to two residential apartments within the community, adding the owners varied the building plans without approval.
Checks by 3FM’s Community Connect last week showed construction work on fuel station, which is opposite the Panbros Salt Industry, was almost complete.
Alhaji Aleru Lukeman, owner of the station told 3FM that he has not received any letter or order from the authorities asking him to stop work, saying “I have not received any letter from the Assembly nor the Fire Service. In any case you can check from our regulator on the matter.”
However, the Greater Accra Chief Fire Officer, Ebenezer Simpson disputed Alhaji Lukeman’s claim the permit has not been revoked.
He explained that GNFS upon inspection of the facility discovered Lucky Oil Station had varied the plans without the approval of the Chief Fire Officer, contrary to regulation 14 of Legislative Instrument 1724.
“We have been to the place, seen the discrepancies and have submitted our report to the Chief Fire Officer to take his action. However, the fire permit he had was issued in 2012, which has been revoked. He cannot be using that for the filling station under construction,” ACFO Simpson noted.
In April this year, the Acting Head of Public Relations of GNFS, Divisional Officer Grade II, Mr Timothy Osarfo Affum, told journalists after visiting the construction site that the withdrawal of Lucky Oil’s fire permit was due to the nearness to two residences.
He said the facility as it stands now, if allowed to proceed would create a serious fire threat to both occupants and the community.
Kweku Adjei Nkrumah, a resident whose house borders the Lucky Oil and TEL Filling station, which is fully operational, said each time fuel is dispensed they are unable to do anything for over four hours.
“Each time they dispense fuel, we cannot do anything. We cannot cook or light a fire since it could explode. Our house is just inches away from the filling station. Besides we have children here who have respiratory conditions,” he said.
“We are pleading with the authorities to act fast by closing down these two filling stations because of the harm they are causing and the potential disaster waiting to occur.”
Community Connect contacted the Metropolitan Chief Executive Jerry Acquaye-Thompson for their position on the case to which he said, “The owners of that land have relevant documents to prove they own the land and can thus go ahead with their chosen project.”