Accra, Aug. 11, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday cut the sod for work to commence on the first phase of the La Community Market Complex at La in Accra.
The project being financed by the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) is estimated to cost 634 million cedis and would involve the construction of 99 market stalls.
The second phase of the project would be the construction of a three-storey modern market with such facilities as stores, offices, restaurant, communication centre and a day care centre.
President Kufuor said the Government had focused attention on the construction of new markets and the rehabilitation of some existing markets as part of its Private Sector development policy.
He said markets were the citadels of the private sector that is acknowledged as the engine of economic growth; therefore, market women and traders formed part of a very important institution that must be supported and nurtured to play a vanguard role in advancing the economic growth of the nation.
President Kufuor, however, cautioned market women and traders against the sale of expired goods and dangerous products that abounded on the international markets at cheap prices.
He said such goods and products easily found their way to emerging developing countries either because the traders were not careful enough or were just unscrupulous.
"Either way, such conduct is not pardonable because such goods tend to endanger the consumer", he said
President Kufuor warned that the Government would not renege on its duty to protect the consumer and was, therefore, strengthening the Ghana Standards Board and the Food and Drugs Board to enable them to discharge their duties more effectively.
He pledged the Government's determination to pursue prudent policies that would strengthen the macro-economy by continuing to reduce inflation, stabilise the Cedi and also engender business-friendly atmosphere to facilitate the growth of the Private Sector.
"Our success in this endeavour will make the national economy more competitive and offer even more opportunities to our market women and traders", he said.
President Kufuor commended the chiefs and people of La for the unity among them, adding: "This spirit of unity must be sustained and nurtured further, because economic activities do not thrive in an atmosphere of tension and insecurity".
Mr Godfried Ako-Nai, Member of Parliament for La Dadekotopon, said the market being given a lease of life would resurrect the economic life of the people and solve the unemployment and poverty problems among the people.
He said plans were far advanced for the implementation of the 24 billion cedis La Beach Reclamation Project to restore and develop the Abese Beach and with much encouragement to the fishing community would revive the fishing industry in the area.
Mr Ako-Nai announced that the Hydrology Department of the Ministry of Works and Housing had been allocated 1.9 billion cedis for the construction of footbridges and alignment of the Kakramadu Drain in the area.
He denied rumours in the area that the stalls on completion would be sold to the occupants, saying, "the NPP Government has no such plans.Please do not let anybody mislead you".