Parliament to intervene in Kejetia Market dispute
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development, Dominic Azumah has said Parliament will need to step in to resolve ongoing litigations surrounding redevelopment of the Kejetia Market in order to get the project completed on time.
He said the current court case filed against the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) by some aggrieved traders who were formerly occupying the market has the tendency to slow pace of work on the project.
According to Mr. Azumah, a likely out-of-court settlement of all matters related to the market, which will considered one of the biggest modern markets in West Africa when completed, is the only way to get contractors to finish the project on schedule.
He therefore appealed to all sides in the court case to reconsider and support efforts to get a befitting modern market for the people of Kumasi, revered as the gateway to West Africa.
Mr. Azumah made these remarks when the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development visited the construction site of the Kejetia Market together with officials of the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly to assess the progress of work so far.
The redevelopment of the market, which commenced about seven months back at a cost of US$298million, is being carried out in phases and expected to take about two and half years to be completed.
Phase-one of the Project comprises construction works at the Kejetia Lorry Terminal, likely to last for 24 to 30 months; while phases two and three will commence on completion of the first part. The phase-two and three of the project will focus on the market redevelopment.
The Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development expressed satisfaction with progress of work after a tour of the construction site.
He observed that the pace of work has been contrary to their expectations, given all the problems and litigation they read in the media about the Project.
He commended the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II and the people of Kumasi for the support rendered to the Assembly so far.
The visit of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government and Rural Development is hoped to expedite approval for the second tranche of the first phase of the Project loan.
The Chief Executive of KMA, Kojo Bonsu, said the Assembly is doing all it can to ensure timely completion of the market.
He also supported the call by the Committee Chairman for calm heads in order to get the Project done as expected.
The Project Manager of Contracta, Carlos Gala, stated that they are ahead of schedule and hopeful the work will be completed ahead of the scheduled time. He however indicated that what might slow the current pace of work is the rains as the country enters the wet season.