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Regional News of Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Source: The Finder

Mahama assures Kejetia traders of re-allocation of stores

President John Mahama assuring residents of Kumasi of a modern, sophisticated and gargantuan market President John Mahama assuring residents of Kumasi of a modern, sophisticated and gargantuan market

President John Dramani Mahama has given firm assurance to affected traders of the Kejetia Terminal that they would be given priority in the re-allocation of stores when the first part of the three-phased Kumasi Central Market-Kejetia Redevelopment Project is completed next year.

The President, together with Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, the Asantehene, cut the sod for the commencement of the US$298 million Ghana/Brazilian Government project in Kumasi yesterday. He said the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) should co-operate with the committee set by the Asantehene to resolve all outstanding issues emanating from the relocation, which had earlier sparked some controversy.

President Mahama stated that after the first phase of the project, which had affected about 5,000 traders plying their trade at the Kejetia Terminal, they would have twice the original capacity of the place and that it was on this basis that he sought to allay the fears of the affected traders.

For fear of losing their businesses, the Kejetia Traders Association, protesting their ejection from the location to pave way for the project in June this year, filed a suit at the law court seeking an injunction to restrain the KMA from commencing the project.

They demanded that the assembly give the traders the first option to own stores at Kejetia upon the completion of the project.

In addition, the court should compel the assembly to come clear on the procedure for their relocation to avoid any further problems.

The situation called for Otumfuo’s swift intervention to set up a committee, chaired by the Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei Bonsu II, to see to the amicable resolution of the issues.

President Mahama, endorsing the Asantehene’s initiative and the traders’ demand, said the government would not disappoint the traders, urging the assembly to comply with the guidelines under the roadmap to get the traders well-settled.

The completion of the project, he assured, would bring significant reward to the sacrifices the traders had made in terms of loss of revenue to both traders and KMA and increase in commuting time in the Central Business District (CBD), among others.

President Mahama described the project as monumental, saying it would raise the area’s status as the biggest open market in the West African sub-region and the second largest in Africa.

Facilities to be included in the project are an ultra-modern lorry terminal, fire and police stations, crèche, clinic, modern sewerage and security systems.

Other projects in the Ashanti Region being undertaken by the government to bring relief and comfort to the people include the construction of the second phase of the €37.5 million Kumasi roads and drainage project, Bomfa Junction-Asokwa-Bekwai road rehabilitation project, and the Kumawu-Drobonso road construction project.

President Mahama said infrastructure development was critical on the government’s agenda, as it was significant to raising the living conditions of the people.

Ms Irene Vida, the Brazilian Ambassador to Ghana, said the Brazilian government saw Ghana as a strategic partner in development, and as such would continue to make the necessary investment for accelerated socio-economic growth.

Currently, the Brazilian government is helping Ghana with a number of construction projects to help stimulate investment and expand the country’s economic base.

Mr Fabio Kamara, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Contracta Engenharia Limitida, contractors working on the project, said so far about 60% of the foundation works had been done, adding that almost 70% of their workforce was Ghanaian.

The contractors, he said, had stepped up efforts to complete the first phase of the project in 24 months as scheduled.

The state-of-the-art complex is expected to create direct and indirect employment for some 2,000 Ghanaians during the course of construction.

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