EPA needs more staff – Professor Frimpong-Boateng

Asamoah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 10, GNA – Professor Kwabena
Frimpong-Boateng, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and
Innovation, has expressed support for the need to employ more staff for the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to enable it to effectively perform its
role .

He said the soon to be inaugurated Board of
the EPA would need to work with management within the earliest possible time to
employ more staff, especially for the Greater Accra East Office of the EPA in
Tema that covers seven districts assemblies with the Tema Metropolis.

Earlier, Mr John Pwamang, the Acting Executive
Director of EPA, in a durbar, had requested that the Agency be allowed to
employ more staff to enable it to work and raise funds to meet its obligation
and mandate. 

He said since May, last year, that the Agency
was weaned off government’s subvention, it had been struggling to pay its staff
and carry out other activities with the 64 per cent Internally Generated Funds
(IGF) it retained.

He said other Ministries, Departments and
Agencies, which paid the 34 per cent of the IGF to the Government were still
being paid their salaries by the Government and so it was not fair for the EPA
to pay all that percentage while it struggled to pay its staff and run other

Currently there were about five officers
manning all the seven districts in the Tema Metropolis while the overall staff
of the EPA is about 400 instead of the mandated 850 to help carry out its

Therefore, the Minister said the New Board would
have to quickly look at the needs of the Agency, especially, the staff needs.

During a tour to inspect the new four-storey
building of the Greater Accra East Office of the EPA on Thursday, Prof
Frimpong-Boateng, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Ms Patricia Appiagyei,
commended the Agency for putting up the edifice which, though had two more
floors yet to be completed, was a more suitable architecture.

He said the edifice would serve as a critical
centre to monitor mercury and other unapproved pesticides that were banned in
the country and a major lab centre to scan and ban unapproved pesticides,
weedicides and other chemicals that are blacklisted.

Prof. Frimpong-Boateng said the EPA had a lot
of collaborations to do with the Ghana Revenue Authority and the Ports and
Harbours Authority with regards to Ghana’s obligation towards the Minamata
Convention on the ban of mercury.  

The Minister gave the assurance that he was
discussing with the Ministry of Finance to review the EPA’s 34 per cent of the
IGF paid to government, which was affecting its operations.

Ms Appiagyei described the EPA as an important
Agency and the need for the staff to refocus their attention on how to fulfill
their mandate and help secure a cleaner and safer environment.


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