The Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) has begun the allocation of stores at the new Kejetia Market to traders.
One thousand five hundred traders are being catered for under the first phase of the allocation exercise.
Last Saturday, scores of traders, in a joyous mood, gathered at the Quashie Idun Hall at the Centre for National Culture in Kumasi to receive their allocation letters.
According to the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE) for Kumasi, Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, traders who received their allocation letters were at liberty to begin trading at the market from today
He said a month’s grace period had been given those who were yet to pay for their allocations.
A team of seven people, comprising three assembly members and four technocrats, with the support of some national service persons and some KMA staff, monitored the allocation exercise.
The market project, which started in July 2015 and cost $298 million, was to have been completed in January 2018 but was delayed due to court actions initiated by some individuals against the KMA.
Modalities for the allocation of the stores have been a major topic for discussion in the Kumasi metropolis for some time now.
Consequently, the MCE held several meetings with various traders and transport owners before arriving at an amicable solution.
And at the sod-cutting ceremony for the commencement of work on phase two of the Kumasi Central Market Redevelopment project, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, had asked the KMA to open the market for business, saying that the continued delay in allocating and occupying the shops had put traders in a state of uncertainty.
Mr Antwi called on the traders to exercise restraint, as efforts were being made to ensure that all those who deserved to get stores were duly offered allocation letters after validation.
He said those who did not have money to pay for the stores would be offered loans by the Fidelity Bank, which they would pay back within a five-year period.
The prices of the shops range from GH¢7,000 to GH¢40,000.
On ensuring cleanliness at the market, the MCE said an operations and management contractor had been engaged to take care of both sanitation and security at the market and its surrounding areas.
The traders expressed satisfaction with the process and commended the assembly for the strategy adopted for the smooth exercise.
They also thanked the government and the Asantehene for their immense roles in the realisation of the project.