The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), has commenced what it describes as a transparent exercise to re-allocate stores in the newly-constructed Kejetia market. This followed the completion of the Kejetia market project, started about five years ago, to give the busy business hub in the heart of the city, an expansion and facelift. Mr. Osei Assibey-Antwi, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), told a stakeholders’ meeting in Kumasi that priority would be given to former Kejetia terminal traders, who had to relocate to other satellite markets, to pave way for the project. “Managers of the facility are bent on ensuring that only those who qualified to be given the stores, are given what is rightly theirs”, he emphasized. He said they had throughout the exercise demonstrated transparency, stressing that, under no circumstance would they compromise on their terms of reference in relation to their duties. The meeting, held under the auspices of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA), was aimed at briefing traders on the payment modalities of the stores and progress of the allocation exercise. The facility, which forms the first phase of the multi-million dollar Kejetia/Kumasi Central Market Redevelopment Project, consists of 8, 420 leasable commercial spaces. This comprised of 6, 490 lockable stores, 1, 420 counter stores and 60 food courts. Other key facilities include a public transport terminal, prayer room, bank agencies as well as fire and police stations. A post office, crèche, fuel and gas storage tanks, waste separation dock and sewage treatment station, are the other facilities in the extremely large structure, touted as an architectural masterpiece. The beautiful edifice is meant to address the perennial fire outbreaks and congestion at the Central Market, viewed by many as the largest open space market in the West African sub-Region. Owing to its strategic location, thousands of traders from neighbouring countries, including Burkina Faso, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Nigeria throng the Market on daily basis to do business. Mr. Assibey-Antwi announced the completion of the first phase of a verification exercise, which helped to trace the eligible owners of about 30, 000 traders. He warned the traders not to pay monies to any individual with the intent of facilitating the acquisition of the stores. The MCE was emphatic that the mode of payment and related issues were being facilitated by the Fidelity Bank Limited, and that, the Bank had been mandated to pay the premium on behalf of traders, who could not mobilize the amount to pay the initial premium.
Nana Agyenim Boateng, representing the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, on the Project, and also Chairman of the Verification and Validation Committee, indicated that the value of the stores ranged from GHC 7, 800 to GHC48, 000. He advised the traders to exercise restraint and work closely with the managers of the facility to enhance a successful relocation exercise.