Two major trading groups in the Kumasi Metropolis of the Ashanti Region have protested against city authorities and the ruling New Patriotic Party NPP's government, over what they described as unfair treatment meted-out to them.
The groups, the Combined Traders Associations Kejetia Central Market and the Combined Kumasi Central Market Traders Union agitation follows the closure of some 800 shops at the Kejetia new market after a fire outbreak and the suspension of works on the second phase of the Kejetia/Central Redevelopment project.
The leadership of the trading groups during their protest on Tuesday March 28, 2023 accused government and city authorities of neglecting them.
Addressing the media, the secretary for Combined Kumasi Central Market Traders Union, Emelia Kwofi expressed worry over the suspension of works on the second phase of Kejetia Redevelopment project.
"President Akufo-Addo in May 2019 pledged his government’s commitment to completing the project on time and the contractor has on several occasions said they will hand over the project in 2024.
"We have been told from a reliable source that, the project risks further delay over the government’s ongoing debt exchange programme in an attempt to seek a bailout from the International Monetary Fund IMF," he stated.
Emelia Kwofi however emphasized that, any further delays in the project will affect the livelihoods of thousands of traders who are currently jobless due to the ongoing works at the market.
She therefore called on the government to come out and explained why the project has been halted and how it is working to resume.
The Public Relations Officer for the Combined Traders Association Kejetia Central Market, Mr Andrews Koffi said managers of the Kumasi City Markets Limited have blocked access to over 800 shops with the aim of assessing the structural integrity of the facility after the fire incident.
He added that, nothing has been done by management after over 10 days of the fire adding that, delays in determining the exact area to be closed indefinitely was causing problems not only for the traders at the epicenter of the fire but those who were not affected as well.
He appealed to city authorities to hasten it assessment to allow traders access to their shops.