Business News of 2014-01-13

Unauthorised ‘mall’ at Tetteh Quarshie removed

An unauthorised ‘mall’ that flourished at the Tetteh Quarshie interchange for 15 years has finally been removed by a task force from the La Dade-Kotopon Municipal Assembly (LaDMA).
The initial exercise was carried out on January 3 and 4, 2014, followed by a mop-up on Monday, January 6, as the traders at the mall which was adjacent to the popular Accra Mall went back to trading after they had been sacked the first time.
A visit to the mall on Friday and Saturday showed that tables and makeshift structures around the vicinity had been demolished and the shoulders of the roads had been cleared to ensure free movement of people.
Some of the traders were seen making efforts to relocate to the temporary market at the lorry station near the mall, while some hawkers were seen lurking around the area, hoping that the exercise could be a nine-days’ wonder and go back to the area to trade.
The traders
According to the LaDMA Chief Executive, Ms Rita Odoley Sowah, who spoke with the Daily Graphic yesterday, the Assembly already had plans to dislodge the traders who had increased in number over the years; that is before the paper’s publications on the illegal trading activities on September 12 and in December last year.
“Before I came into office, they had been asking them to move away, and when I came to office too I went there with the mayor of Accra and he introduced me to them that he was no longer taking care of the place so they had to account to the new MCE of the area, so we asked them to move, to which they did not fully comply,” she said.
Ejection of illegal traders
Narrating how the exercise was carried out, Ms Sowah said the Assembly went with its task force and the police and asked the traders to move their wares on both the first and second days of the exercise, cleared returnee traders and removed all structures during the mop-up.
She said when the traders were asked why they had converged on the space along the road to sell, they said they were just carrying out their trading activities but admitted that anytime they were driven away by officials of the assembly, they came back.
“So we want to put in measures that our task force will be there often, so that they will not be able to come back to the place,” the LaDMA Chief Executive hinted.
Confirming that the Tetteh Quarshie area was not the only place under their jurisdiction that had attracted illegal trading activities, Ms Sowah told the Daily Graphic that the Assembly had embarked on similar exercises at the Cantonments/Labone Junction, the Danquah Circle and near the American Embassy.
Ms Sowah said in each of the places, the traders were educated on the need to move from those locations and if they were ready to take their wares they were allowed to do so, but those who refused had their wares confiscated until they paid a fine, while the containers they occupied were cut and carted away.
Dealing with illegal occupancy
On how the assembly was dealing with the issue of illegal occupancy of traders in some suburbs, she said: “It is in the plans of the assembly to get the traders off the places so that we can regain our estates.”
The LaDMA Chief Executive expressed worry that apart from the illegal trading activities, some of the traders had made those areas their residencies. “They have gathered refuse here and there,” she said.
Ms Sowah said the assembly had plans for another market in a new community behind the Trade Fair, close to an area earmarked for a lorry station.
She intimated that a meeting had been held with executives of a lorry station at the Tetteh Quarshie interchange and an arrangement had been made for the traders to temporarily trade there.
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