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Government has embarked on an exercise to reconstruct and re-engineer all old markets to avoid perennial fire outbreaks in some of the facilities, President John Dramani Mahama has announced.
"Under the programme, the Kumasi Central Market, Cape Coast Kotokruba market, Tamale Aboabo market among others are under construction, while the Salaga market in Accra and Mankessim market projects would soon commence."
President Mahama who announced this in Abirem in the Birim North District of the Eastern Region when he inaugurated a market project explained that the electrical installations in most of the markets had become obsolete, making them susceptible to fire outbreaks.
Apart from that, the President said because traders were carrying out installation projects by themselves, some had gone in for inferior materials that had led to rampant fire outbreaks in most of the facilities.
The new Abirem market project was initiated in 1999 under the former President Jerry John Rawlings regime under the Agricultural Sector Improvement Project but got stalled after the National Democratic Congress administration lost power in 2000
The project which was re-started a couple of years ago has now been completed with 70 lockable stores, 279 sheds, a number of water closets toilet facilities, butcher shop, daycare centre and a lorry park.
President Mahama said markets served as the stimulus of economic development and his administration would continue to invest in the sector to provide avenues for groups and individuals to obtain better living conditions through trading.
He said the District had the potential of growing more cash and food crops to feed the rest of the country and government would continue to invest on their roads to facilitate the carting of foodstuff from the farming communities to marketing centres.
"The Abirem-Nkwakwaw road has been awarded on contract, and many others in the district will be worked on to facilitate the movement of goods and services."
On Education, President Mahama announced that government had approved the establishment of a College of Education in the District to train teachers in technical education.
He said technical education had become pivotal on account of the country`s demand for middle level professionals to take up strategic positions in the mining and oil and gas sector in the country.
President Mahama also announced that government was working out royalty packages for chiefs in mining towns as the Ministry of Finance through the Controller and Accountant General's Department was putting finishing touches.
Meanwhile party supporters spent over four hours drumming and dancing in a scorchy sun to welcome President Mahama into the town.
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