The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) has issued a strong warning to Traders who ply their trade on the streets in and around the Central Business District (CBD) and within the inner perimeter of the Takoradi Market Circle to desist from that act since their activities contributes to the heavy congestion in the Metropolis.
The move by the Assembly is to help sustain the ongoing decongestion exercise commissioned in January 2018 after transport operators around the Takoradi Accra Station area were relocated to the Apremdo new market in December 2017.
Several attempts by city authorities to decongest the Sekondi – Takoradi Metropolis in time past has not yield any major fruition. The inner perimeter of the Takoradi Market Circle has become the hub for trade in Takoradi from food stuffs to cloths and footwear’s.
Confirmed reports by the Takoradi Market Association has shown that about ninety-five percent of traders selling outside the Takoradi Market owes stalls and sheds inside the market yet they have resorted to display their worth within the inner perimeter of the Market Circle thereby causing a lot of nuisance to the general public.
In an exclusive interview with Bro Nat the host of “Adekye Mu Nsem” on Spice 91.9 FM in Takoradi, the Takoradi Sub-Metro Administrator, Mr. Frank Yeboah mentioned that on Monday July 30th, 2018 the Assembly will judiciously enforce all it powers enshrined in the Assembly’s by-law to get the Central Business District of Takoradi free from all forms of traffic to create space for human and vehicular movement and also provide access for emergency service delivery within the Metropolis.
“From Monday 30th July, 2018 no one will be allowed to engage in any form of business within the inner perimeter of the Takoradi Market Circle and its environs. Neither on the pavements, on the gutters, the streets, frontage of banks or shops from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday each week”, he said.
Unlike before, the Assembly according to Mr. Frank Yeboah will be rotating the metro-guards in morning and afternoon shifts to ensure sanity is maintained at the Central Business District at all times.
He however advised shop owners to also desist from displaying their items beyond acceptable limits as approved by the Assembly adding that anyone who flout this directive will be made to face the full rigours of the law at the appropriate court.
Meanwhile, all accredited individuals who sell coconut and footwear on pushcart (trucks) are also advised to operate within their designated spots at the Market Circle inner perimeter to avoid any confrontations.
Under the constitution of Ghana and the Local Government Act, 2016 (Act 936) it is only the Metropolitan, Municipal or District Assembly that has the authority to demarcate place for trading and other economic activities.
At the maiden border consultative forum to discuss the sustainability of the decongestion exercise in Takoradi especially the Central Business District (CBD) area which the famous Takoradi Market Circle forms part. Leadership of the various stakeholders operating in the Takoradi Market dared authorities at the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly to take that bold step and match everyone away from the inner perimeter of the Takoradi Market.
The aggrieved traders laid the blame of disorderliness and lack of development in the market at the doorstep of politicians seeking cheap vote from electorates. They lament the activities of the traders themselves creates a lot of public nuisance and hampers smooth business transactions inside the market.
After several out pour of grievances from traders to the Mayor of the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), Anthony Kobina Kurentsir Sam and the various departmental heads at the conference hall of the Takoradi Sub-Metro during the stakeholders engagement on July 11th and 12th, 2018, the secretary to the market women, Madam Veronica Arthur categorically stated that about 95% of all traders selling within inner perimeter of the Takoradi Market Circle have stalls and sheds inside the market so there is no excuse for anyone to sell outside the market.
She however blamed the continuous disregard of the law by these recalcitrant traders in Takoradi on the lack of Political-will on the part of various chief executive’s to enforce the assemblies own bye-laws.
“The show of party politics in the affairs of the market is not helping matters at all, people have taking the law into their own hands in the name of political heads. The level of disorderliness in the market is unthinkable; after paying all the taxes we sit in the market and sell nothing, why should you allow such indiscipline to thrive in the metropolis”, the trader’s laments.
The two days’ stakeholder’s engagement ended on a mutual with understanding with commitment to create the enabling environment for businesses both big and small to thrive. The assembly must therefore go ahead and evict anyone selling at unauthorized place before the problem gets out of hands.
The Metropolitan Chief Executive Anthony Kobina Kurentsir Sam however gave a two weeks’ ultimatum for the traders to reorganize and leave the inner perimeter of the market circle and pleaded with stakeholders not to turn around and accuse them of witch-hurting.
The Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly has resolved to reconstruct the Takoradi market circle and the Sekondi market to modern status and as well build a multi-purpose car park with stores at “Eburufoom” in Takoradi where the second hand cloth sellers are currently located.
The over 100-year old markets have been put on Public, Private Partnership for redevelopment of which some companies including a Brazilian construction firm, Contracta, currently reconstructing the Kumasi Kejetia and central markets, among others have expressed interest.
The market is expected to be redeveloped into the status of an ultra-modern market but until then managers of the Takoradi Market have device means to control the growing population of traders who wish to operate in Takoradi and its environs which led to the construction of the Apremdo market with ancillary facilities some twelve years ago.
Yet, the location of the Takoradi market makes it probably the most accessible trading point in the whole of the Sekondi – Takoradi metropolis. Major road lead to it. The John Mensah Sarbah road links the market from the South West and from the North East. The Liberation road linking it from the South East through the market to the North West. Other roads that access the market are the Ashanti Road and the Ahanta road.
The market was planned and built by city engineers to form the nucleus of trading for the new Takoradi city. The city became bustling after the building of the Takoradi Harbour, which served as a major export centre for Ghana after the Tema Harbour.
Kojo Ennimil Arthur|Spicefmonline.com|Ghana