Business News of 2013-12-24

Osu Oxford Street Mall Back In Business

The Osu Oxford Street Mall has bounced back to business after the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) had given the green light for the mall to operate.
The mall was busy on Friday afternoon when the Daily Graphic visited the facility. Customers were seen trooping in to purchase various merchandise.
The AMA closed down the mall last Monday because it said the management of the mall had failed to acquire an occupancy certificate.
A notice posted on the entrance to the mall read, “Notice of Closure: This building has not been issued occupancy certificate. Please contact the Accra Metropolitan Assembly for the certificate.” But as of yesterday the notice had been removed.
Customers and workers of the mall who had reported for work last Monday were prevented from getting in by a private security.
Tenants of the mall, including Shoprite and Samsung, posted on their doors notices that read: “The shop has been temporarily closed. Sorry for the inconvenience.”
During the closure of the building, the AMA and the consultants to the project, Multicad, inspected it to ascertain whether the structure met the standards set by the city authorities.
The 13-storey mall has 27 shops, including Shoprite. Other tenants include Unibank and Golden Dragon Casino.
The Assistant Facility Manager, Mr Festus Boakye, in an interview, said the closure of the building was not due to the occupancy certificate, as speculated in the media, but rather the scaffold which was in front of the building.
He explained that the AMA, on seeing the scaffold, said the building was not safe for public use and, therefore, directed that whatever work was going on should be completed before the mall was opened.
After deliberations, he said, the management of the building agreed with the AMA to remove the scaffold to ensure public safety, adding that the owners had obtained a temporary occupancy certificate, while a permanent certificate was still being processed.
The 13-storey shopping mall and hotel complex, built by the Ghana Libyan Arab Holding Limited (GLAHCO), was opened for business early this month. GLAHCO is a joint-venture between the Libyan Arab African Investment Company (LAAICO) and the Government of Ghana.
The complex has 5,580 metre square of retail space, 650 metre square of restaurants and food courts, with two underground floors of car park.
GLAHCO has leased a portion of the new shopping mall to Shoprite, a supermarket chain, which is currently competing with other supermarkets such as the Koala Shopping Centre and Lara Mart, also located along the Oxford Street.