Leading business figures in the Tema Metropolis have pledged their readiness to support the Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive’s vision for the Harbour City only if he would be bold to free it off illegal structures and squatters.
The industry players bemoaned the insecurity squatters pose to their huge investments, and the legions of temporary structures that had almost swallowed major parkways and principal streets of the Metropolis, making Tema an unattractive place.
“We are ready to commit ourselves to help your administration to realise its vision, but we need you to assure us, the industry players, that the Tema Metropolitan Assembly, under your tenure, is, first, ready to remove all unauthorised kiosks and containers and squatters from the business centres.
These structures reduce development and repel investors to a brisk and lucrative business hub like Tema,” one industry player said in his solidarity statement at the Mayor’s Ball, an official get-together between the Tema Metro Chief Executive (MCE) and captains of industry and opinion leaders in the city to share ideas and plans of developing the industrial hub.
The Mayor’s Ball, held on the theme: ‘Promoting community development, building a better Tema for all’, enabled the MCE, Yohane Nii Amarh Ashitey, to outline his vision and developmental agenda to woo the support of the investors and industry players.
Mr. Ashitey’s slogan of ‘Make Tema shine again’ was on the back of the many haphazardly sited infrastructures and heavy population of Tema, thereby creating unbalanced and enormous pressure on the limited facilities, generating huge wastes in the Metropolis, and high insecurity.
The increasing population of Tema is largely a result of the harbour, which serves countries like Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso – all landlocked countries – and the many heavy industries and companies.
The lack of parking lots for these local and transit trucks, and the delay in clearing goods at the harbour have accounted for heavy congestion, resulting in the building of thousands of illegal tiny wooden structures as accommodation, food joints for squatters and hoodlums, at the Tema Meridian enclave where several offices for shipping lines and financial institutions are located.
These disgusting spectacles at the Meridian and industrial enclaves, and the main Tema business centre, the captains of industry observed, were fending off investors and discouraging them to continue to invest in the industrial town.
However, not oblivious to the concerns of his development partners, Yohane Nii Amarh Ashitey assured his guests that the Assembly, with the support of the Greater Accra Regional Minister, was clearing all temporary structures in the Metropolis and demolishing all unauthorised buildings at the Meridian enclave.
After freeing the Meridian enclave off the repulsive structures, Mr. Yohane Ashitey said the Assembly would invest in developing the Meridian Plaza with high-rise buildings.
“And to begin with that vision, the Assembly has started the asphaltic overlay of some of the deplorable roads in the Meridian enclave,” he proved with pictures displayed on a huge screen at the Alisa Hotel, Community 12.
The Tema MCE added that the Assembly had started fixing all streetlights along the principal streets, and was still working hard to fix almost all the streetlights to illuminate the metro at dusk.
“The Assembly is altering the landscape from the Tema interchange to Harbour to plant ornamental plants and trees along the shoulders. The Assembly is again providing two different bins to households and at vantage points in the metropolis to segregate waste, one of our biggest challenges.
So, I can promise you that the Tema Assembly is bent on creating a good and conducive Tema for investors and inhabitants,” he said.
Mr. Ashitey, on that assuring note, called on corporate entities in Tema to support his administration to change the dismal narrative of Tema.