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15.07.2004 Regional News

Business Community wants market re-opened

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Bolgatanga, July 15, GNA - Traders within the Bolgatanga Municipality have appealed to the Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, and members of the assembly to re-open the old Central Market for business activities.

The market was demolished about a decade ago for reconstruction with funds from the World Bank under its urban "III" programme, but work came to a standstill when the contractors on the job failed to deliver. Work, however, continued in 2002, with the construction of some stores, which have been locked up without use.

Most of the traders the Ghana News Agency (GNA) interviewed within the municipality, wondered why the assembly had been adamant about several appeals for it to allocate the stores to them. Mr Henry Atiah, a communication centre operator, said the hold up was meaningless, because it had encouraged traders to put up structures haphazardly.

Mrs Ama Adjei, a plastic and hard ware dealer, said the market was situated in the centre of the Bolgatanga township, and attracted different traders from all parts of the three northern regions and that sales were good, "but after the demolishing exercise things really went bad".

An auto mechanic, Mr Yaw Twumasi, regretted that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government's vision to partner the private sector for growth had not been translated by the Bolgatanga Municipality, because of its unfriendly manner towards the business community.

The Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Rockson Ayine Bukari, dismissed speculations that the assembly had deliberately locked up the market. He said the assembly at the moment did not have the money to continue with the construction and was searching for support to help complete it.

Mr Bukari explained that "not even half of the work on the market is done, we need to extend electricity, water and complete the other structures before the place would be ready for use"

He appealed to the business community to exercise restraint and bear with the assembly, adding that "we are aware of the revenue we would get from making the market function, but first things must be done first".

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