AMA calls for public co-operation

…in re-development of markets

By Bernice Bessey

The Salaga market turning into refuse dump. (left), The market women selling under the heat of the sun(right). Pix by Eric Owiredu

The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) has called on the general public, especially, traders, not to succumb to the rumours and perceptions that the assembly had put plans in place to sell some principal and traditional markets in the metropolis to private companies and individuals.

According to the assembly, it was not happy with the deplorable and unhygienic conditions under which the markets in the city operate, and had invited private involvement in the modernisation, renovation, and rehabilitation of eight markets in the metropolis.

The markets are the Public Works Department (PWD) Makola, Tuesday, London, Osu, Mallam Atta, Maamobi, La and Salaga.

The statement added that the majority of these markets are in deplorable states, and the unhygienic conditions prevailing at these places leaves no doubt that they are in need of serious re-development to bring them to the level befitting the status of the city Accra.

It further explained that with the volume of work to be done, and its accompanying budget to transform the markets to befit a Millennium city, the assembly had decided to adopt the concept of Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

“The key idea is we want private partnership, because the AMA cannot do it alone, and would give opportunities for private investment,” it stated.

It said before the assembly advertised the expression of interest, it held a series of consultative meeting with traders, who gave their formal consent for the rehabilitation of their respective markets. “The assembly wishes to reiterate that it has no intention of selling any market to any individual or company.”

According to the Mayor, the need for private involvement was to upgrade the markets with modern facilities, saying, “The idea is to bring on board public involvement, and open the gap for private investment and partnership.”

“The markets need to be operated under hygienic and safe environments, because this is where we get our food from,” he further stated.

At the various markets visited, the Accra File noted that the structures were in deplorable states, the floors not cemented, and no proper storage structures for the traders to keep their wares in.

According to the statement, markets like Salaga and Tuesday had their stalls empty, meanwhile the traders were selling outside, while at others such as the Mallam Atta and Maamobi markets, the traders complained of the lack of stalls, toilet facilities, and poor drainage systems.

“The publication is misleading and unfortunate, and has the potential to incite discontentment of the general public, especially, the hardworking and industrious traders of the various markets against the AMA,” it stated.

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