Accra, May 4, GNA- The Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) would this year, recruit 1,120 personnel to assist the assembly carry out its functions effectively, Mr Stanley Nii Adjiri Blankson Chief Executive Officer, AMA said on Wednesday.
The assembly's management in consultation with chairpersons of the various sub-metro's have decided to recruit 60 building inspectors, 680 sanitary labourers, 200 metro guards, 100 metro task force and 80 environmental health officers.
Speaking at the assembly's second ordinary meeting of its third session, Mr Blankson said the assembly lacked the mentioned personnel, hence the need to recruit them.
The Mayor said: "The increase in sanitary labourers has become necessary to target the removal of sachet water residues which have been the source of worry to the assembly.
Mr Blankson said the assembly had so spent over one billion cedis in the on-going decongestion exercise in the metropolis. "In all a total of 1,025,970,863 cedis has so far been spent on the exercise as at April 7, 2005."
The money included employing guards, engaging the services of Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), the Police and setting up task forces to man vantage points.
He said an amount of 143,900 million cedis had been raised from fines imposed on persons arrested for violating the orders to sell on the streets and pavement of the central business district. All these money, he said, were paid into the consolidated fund as demanded by law.
Mr Adjiri Blankson said out of 184 people arrested, 13 persons were serving prison terms at Nsawam, and four on remand at James Fort, while seven juveniles were warned and made to sign bonds. The Mayor said at the moment 300 personnel comprising official from the Police, BNI and the assembly's task force were on the ground to ensure that the exercise is sustained
The AMA Chief Executive said the assembly planned to carry out the exercise in all the sub metro's, adding that the AMA would seek official approval for the extension of the exercise to cover the entire metropolis.
Consequently, he said discussions were going on with KADMOUS Company limited to lease their property situated at Agbogboloshie Lorry Park to house some of the displaced hawkers and vendors. He announced that the assembly was developing a site behind the Ghana Commercial bank Towers at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle to accommodate some traders who would face ejection.
On Public Works Department (PWD) yard, the Mayor said discussions were going on with the Ministry of Works and Housing for the release of the assembly' land situated within the yard. "But this request will take a very long time as personnel and machinery are still there," he said.
Mr Blankson said the assembly saw the need to undertake another exercise to remove all unauthorized structures placed on pedestrian walkways, storm drains, culverts and unauthorized places. "There is also the need to remove all directional sign boards placed at road intersections thereby preventing drivers from having a view of vehicles coming from other directions." The Mayor said the assembly would remove all illegal structures along the beaches in the metropolis.
On the ban imposed on production and sale of sachet water, the CEO said there was room for negotiations adding, "The five-week notice was to enable stakeholders to continue to dialogue with the hope of reaching a consensus on the way forward."
"I wish to urge all stakeholders to calm down and offer suggestions that would help to address the problem of filth that had engulfed the city."
The Mayor said Agence Francais de Development (ADF) in their pre-project appraisal mission to the country had expressed interest to invest in community upgrading and storm drainage at Mamponse-Shiabu in Ablekumah South sub metro and in Kumasi with 10 million dollars. He said negotiations had also begun with ADF to assist the assembly revalue properties in the metropolis and create a database to improve on the assembly's revenue base.
"In all, the AMA would need more vehicles, communication gadgets and refurbished secretariat to carry out its work effectively," he declared.