BY PHILIP ANTOH | firstname.lastname@example.org,g
ABOUT 7,000 personnel of the Ghana National Fire Service across the country are asking the government to release their rent allowance, which is in arrears for the past six months.
The personnel said they had used their pocket monies and loans to rent rooms and houses with the understanding that the government would release the monies to them but for the past six months the money had still not been released.
According to some of the aggrieved personnel, the rent allowance is calculated 20% of one’s basic salary, adding that that amount in itself is insignificant but they are making do with it. This development, he said, has brought untold hardship to them.
Some of the personnel said because the rent allowance had delayed, many servicemen and women were currently being ejected by their landlords while others could not afford their rent charges.
The acting Public Relation Officer of the Ghana National Fire Service, Mr James Kwarteng, when contacted, told the DAILY HERITAGE that before the rent allowance would be released, it had to go through a process and because it wasa paid from government subventions, the process delayed.
“The service pays the rent of its personnel from government subvention and, therefore, if subventions are delayed, then the payment of rent will delay as well,” Mr Kwarteng explained.
He said the rent allowance was paid every three months but the money sometimes delayed because the last quarter of the previous year’s rent allowance was paid in the following year and the first quarter would be pushed forward and so “the last two are yet to be paid”.
“The second quarter has not come and from what I am hearing, it is almost ready and it always comes from the central government. It is not something that is here that has to be distributed and it is like an allocation,” he said..
Mr Kwarteng said one could not tell when the monies would be released “unless it comes from the central government and it varies, and as the name goes, it is rent so one has to spend before applying for another.
“It is not given in advance ; we prepare the processing for the returns and so it is always in a sort of carry forward because when you pay it in advance and the person leaves the job it’s been lost.
Mr Kwarteng, therefore, assured all service personnel to exercise restraint because the process of payment was almost through.