From Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
The process for the allocation of stores to traders and occupation of same at the newly-constructed Kejetia market has begun for trading activities to commence in earnest by the close of the month.
The initial batch of traders has received their documents for the allocation and inspection of their stores for subsequent occupation.
As a commodity market, allocation to the facility would be done according to items traders deal in for a smooth exercise.
The exercise comes after the 11-member Validation Committee meticulously verified and validated occupants of the various stores, before the redevelopment project commenced in 2015.
A total of 8,420 leasable commercial spaces, comprising 6,490 lockable stores, 1,420 counter stores, and 60 food courts, are to be allocated to traders
Traders are currently undergoing documentation for occupation and inspection of the stores upon payment of the required premium.
The rentable values of the stores ranged from GH¢7,800 to GH¢48,000, and that the mode of payment and related issues are being facilitated by the Fidelity Bank Limited, which has been mandated to pay the premium on behalf of traders who cannot mobilise funds to pay the initial premium upfront.
At a meeting with leaders of the various trader groupings yesterday, Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi, Mayor of Kumasi, said an Operations and Maintenance Company had been formed to manage the facility, and that the authorities would ensure transparency in the allocation of the Kejetia stores, and further gave the assurance that priority would be given to the affected traders who were resettled from the former Kejetia lorry terminal.
The KMA boss explained that interest on the premium by Fidelity Bank is 23%, and explained that those who can afford to pay on their own are at liberty to do so, adding that the rental period is five years.
He called for the needed support and cooperation for a smooth exercise which covers traders affected by the second phase of the project at the Kumasi Central Market.
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi hinted that the KMA and the Validation Committee would ensure that only those validated and deserving traders would be allocated stores at the new market.
Oheneba Owusu Afriyie IV, Apagyahene of Kumasi and Member of the KMA Validation Oversight Committee, called for restraint on the part of traders to ensure the allocation exercise is smooth.