THE LEADER of the La Market Women's Association, Madam Odoley Okpoti has declared that members of the association would rally behind President J.A. Kufuor and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and vote for the party in the 2004 elections “to continue with their good works.”
This, she said, was in appreciation of the fulfillment of a promise made by the President to the people of La with regard to the modernization of the La Market.
According to the queen of the market, all that the President promised to do prior to the 2000 elections regarding the renovating of the market had been achieved. Madam Okpoti was speaking to The Chronicle in an interview moments after the sod cutting ceremony for the second phase of the modernization project, which involves the construction of a multi-storey market complex.
“Many governments have come and gone with lip smacking promises to renovate the La Market for us but to no avail. Today we give thanks to God for witnessing the fulfillment of a promise made by President John Agyekum Kufuor.”
She said President Kufuor had demonstrated, beyond all reasonable doubt, his sense of love and respect for the people adding that the President had been acknowledged for his efforts at helping to solve problems facing his people.
The phase one of the project costing ¢634 million is expected to be completed by next month after which the second and final phase would commence. This phase includes a car park, clinic, day care centre, restaurants and stores.
President Kufuor who cut the sod to mark the beginning of the project, expressed gladness that the people of La had assembled in harmony and urged them to sustain and nurture the prevailing spirit of unity because economic activities did not thrive in an atmosphere of tension and insecurity.
He said government was focusing attention on the construction of new markets and the renovation of existing ones as part of its private sector development policy.
“We want to remind all those who will have the opportunity to trade here that they are part of a very important institution, which must be supported and nurtured, to play a vanguard role in advancing the economic growth of the entire nation” the President added.
He commended the market women for their hardworking role that had made them great pillars of strength supporting the national economy but cautioned them against the importation of expired goods and dangerous products.
“Our market-folk must be cautious even as they exploit opportunities which are being created for them not only nationally but also on the global market. v
Expired goods and dangerous products abound on the international markets at cheap prices, and are easily finding their way to emerging third world countries, either because our traders are not careful enough or are merely unscrupulous.”
He gave the assurance that government would continue to pursue prudent policies, which would strengthen the macro-economy, by continuing to reduce inflation, stabilize the currency, and also engender the business-friendly atmosphere to facilitate the growth of the private sector.
The Member of Parliament for the area, Mr. Godfried Ako-Nai noted that the reconstruction of the La Market would go a long way to facilitate the attempts to solve the unemployment and poverty problems facing the people.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that giving this market a new lease of life is crucial to the resurrection of the economic life of this township,” the MP observed. He said arrangements were far advanced to implement the ¢24 billion La Beach Reclamation project as well as the construction of a drainage system, footbridge and alignment at the Kaklamadu area.
Mr. Ako-Nai assured the market traders that their respective stalls would be given back to them and not be sold to any other person as was being rumored.