Alhaji Abubakari Issah, Municipal Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Effia Kwesimintsim Municipal Assembly (EKMA), has said the release of Jubilee Grounds to the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly (STMA) for usage as a temporary market due to the decongestion of the Takoradi Market Circle, costs his Assembly GH¢ 3,000 weekly.
The arrangement was that EKMA and the STMA went into a temporary agreement at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to enable traders to observe social distancing protocols at the Takoradi Market Circle.
In an interview with the GNA, the PRO said people who use to hire the facility on weekends mostly used it for three (3) days, thus from Friday to Sunday at the cost of GH¢500 each day; however, this avenue for revenue generation for the Assembly has been curtailed.
“It currently costs GH¢500 to rent the facility for a day and mostly, people rent it for three days on a roll. The facility can contain two separate events on a weekend, now per the current arrangement all these revenues have stopped coming to the Assembly”, he said.
Alhaji Issah said since the market folks were relocated to the Jubilee Grounds, the STMA has been in charge of all revenue collection from the venue which has affected EKMA’s revenue generation.
Alhaji Issah however maintained that the Assembly was proud to have supported and collaborated with a partner in development to safeguard the lives of thousands of people.
The PRO said the assembly in July 2021 issued a two-week ultimatum to owners of abandoned shops/stores at the Apremdo Market to occupy the facility and commence operations or risk losing them by August 14, 2021.
He said the Assembly in a notice cautioned stakeholders to comply with the directive to avoid the ultimate repercussions, as non-compliance to the directive after the two weeks ultimatum would result in the retrieval and re-allocation of the stores to those who are ready to do business in the Market.
The shops/stores owners were expected to operate the shops as soon as possible and report to the revenue office for re-registration while the Assembly advised landlords/ladies/caretakers and business owners who were in arrears of their Property Rates and Business Operating Permit and other obligations both previous and current to pay so without delay.
Meanwhile, the traders at the Jubilee Grounds were to be relocated on July 31, 2021, to the new temporary site allotted to them by the STMA at a place popularly known as “Slaughter House”, around the Paa Grant Roundabout to enable EKMA to reclaim the facility to its former use.
However, this arrangement has stalled as work at the aforementioned site was still ongoing.
When the GNA visited the site, filling work was briskly being done to pave way for the relocation of the traders.