Adiembra (W/R), July 25, GNA – Stakeholders at a day’s forum at Adiembra in the Western Region have called for a public-private partnership to manage the Apremdo Market in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis in order to make it more vibrant for business transactions.
The market, which was constructed in 1996 by the Sekondi Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA), had not enjoyed much patronage by traders and patrons making the investment non profitable.Currently, the market has 854 stalls, 320 sheds, 27 cubicles for oil sellers, a meat house, four corn mill shops and a warehouse for traders to keep their wares as well as wood workers compartment and three toilet facilities.
Successive Metropolitan Chief Executives including the late Colonel Kaku Korsah, Mr Kwesi Nkrumah, Kobina Prah Annan and Captain Anthony Robert Cudjoe (Rtd) had tried unsuccessfully in the past, to evict traders at the fringes of the Takoradi Market to Apremdo Market.
In view of this, stakeholders at the forum christened: “Citizens Dialogue Development Forum” under the Active Citizenship Programme, organised by Friends of the Nation (FON), an environmental NGO in the metropolis suggested that handing over the management of the facility to a private investor to enable the Market realize its potentials and recoup the heavy investment.
The participants comprising assembly members, entrepreneurs, educationalists, land economists, administrators and media practitioners asked the city authorities to give ultimatum to all stall owners to open their shops for business and those who fail to comply would have them re-allocated to interested traders.
Madam Felicity Owusu Sarfo, a Susu Collector at the Apremdo Market, noted that some well-to-do traders had rented their stalls to individuals as residential facilities while some keep their wares in them for sale at the Takoradi Market.
She suggested the construction of a fence wall around the market to curb the frequent theft cases reported at the place.
Mr George Yankey, the Assembly Member for the area, indicated that some of the challenges facing the market have been laid before the floor of the Assembly and a sub-committee had been formed to come out with pragmatic solution.
Madam Jennifer Boham, the Director of Effia-Kwesimintsim Sub-Metro, announced that a contract had been awarded to a private contractor for the construction of a storey building to serve as offices for transport operators and restaurant for efficient transport system at the market.
The contract component would involve the construction of a fence wall and pavements as well as recruitment of security and sanitary personnel.
Mr. Daniel Ellu, the Apremdo Market Manager, said Thursdays has been set aside as a Market Day and encouraged traders and consumers to patronise the market.
Some participants called for intensive publicity on the Market Day to attract traders.
Nana Efua Ewur, the FON Coordinator in-charge of Active Citizenship, said the NGO facilitates wide range of topics and compile the suggestions and forward them to policy-makers and other relevant stakeholders to inform decision-making.
The third Wednesday of every month has been designated for stakeholders in the twin city, to discuss topical issues in the Metropolis and the entire Region in order to promote development and social accountability.