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Regional News of Friday, 29 May 2015

Source: GNA

Sekondi-Takoradi to have Mall

The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis is to have a Shopping Mall, to befit the oil city.

To this end, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has held a hearing on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIS), in accordance with environmental requirements to collate input from the public before the construction of the 65-million-dollar mall.

The project code-named “Takoradi Mall Limited,” would be situated on a 21-acre land at East Tanokrom in the Effia Constituency in Takoradi.

Mr Dale Ramsdem, Chief Executive Officer of Westport Properties Limited, a South African Company, who is the investor, said when completed, the mall would offer employment to about 2,000 people with 95 per cent being locals.

Mr Ramsdem said the company would comply with the local content policy being implemented by the government, and gave the assurance that the administration of the mall would be handed over to Ghanaian management after 20 years.

Professor Peter Arroja Eshun, an Environmental Consultant, said the company had almost completed the legal and environmental requirements concerning the project, and hoped to start construction soon.

Prof. Eshun who is also a lecturer at the University of Mines and Technology, Tarkwa, said the project would have a 705 parking lot, banks, restaurants and various social and commercial sites.

He therefore, urged people to acquire skills through training to qualify them for jobs at the mall.

Contrary to expectations that the location of the mall would create traffic jam in the area, he said such concerns had been considered and worked on.

The participants at the public hearing, made up of traditional authorities, artisans, mechanics, civil society organizations, politicians and a section of the public, welcomed the construction of the project, as it would open up the region and other trading centres.

They, however, entreated the investors to comply with the local content policy rather than employing people from outside to do the very job they would be capable of handling.

They also impressed on the investors to make sure that their operations did not create environmental hazards to their neighbours.

In a welcoming address, Mr Yaw Sarfo-Afriyie, Regional Environmental Officer, said the public hearing was held in accordance with the EPA Act 490 of 1994 and the environmental assessment regulation 1999, legislative Instrument 1652.

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