Business News of 2014-03-12

Government to build modern markets

Government says plans are far advanced to construct modern markets at the various regional capitals through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, who disclosed this at a PPP workshop on model markets, said the issue of markets was crucial to government.

According to him, most of the economic activities take place at the markets, hence the need to rebuild or upgrade them.

Mr Vanderpuye said “close to 70 percent of economic activities are conducted by our indigenous local businesses within the local environment and therefore we cannot continue to allow people to sell foodstuffs on the ground at this time and age. It is unacceptable.”

Mr Vanderpuye entreated assemblies to find ways of soliciting funds to undertake projects in their communities.

“The system where assemblies undertake projects using common fund money is past. The common fund is not sustainable so there is the need to find ways of soliciting money to fund projects.”

Stella Ansah, an official of the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI), said the markets would include facilities such as community halls, washrooms and cinemas to provide entertainment for children.

The markets will also have banks, child day care centers and police post.

Ms Ansah said the current state of markets in Ghana was not the best, stating that the lack of poor sanitation, drainage, water facility, toilets, storage and access roads, among others, had rendered the traditional markets unattractive to the people.

She said the change in shoppers taste and lifestyles had led to the development of shopping malls and supermarkets like Accra Mall, Melcom Supermarket and Palace Shopping Malls, among others.

So far architectural designs have already been developed, technical committee constituted, engagement of transaction advisor initiated, and discussions with investors were on-going, Ansah said.

“It is important that the development of the markets is focused on satisfying consumer needs by providing access roads, cleaner environment, thereby leading to healthier and enjoyable shopping and trading,” she said.

The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Finance’s PPP Unit in collaboration with the Ministries of Trade and Local Government and Rural Development.

The primary objective of the workshop was to equip selected Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to prepare model market projects based on designs made by the Ministry of Trade and Industry.