Some disgruntled traders from Adjen Kotoku in the Ga West Municipality of Accra, are demanding a refund of their monies or re-allocation of shops, two years after entering into an agreement with authorities.
According to the traders, the Ga West Municipal Assembly under whose control the market is, allocated the shops and sheds to them at a cost of GH₵5,000 and GH₵1000 respectively.
The spokesperson for the shop owners, Alex Ampadu Siaw, said each shop was numbered and they were assigned upon completing payment into a dedicated bank account provided by the assembly.
He noted that after payments were made, they engaged the authorities on some finishing works that needed to be done to make the shops conducive for use, which the authorities gave ample time for.
“The sheds were completed but the shops were like warehouses; the gates were too small…So lots of works were done on them−painting, expansion of gates, electrical works, fixing of the ceiling, tiling, etc,” said Mr. Ampadu on the Anopa Bofoↄ show on Tuesday, February 23, 2022.
On the part of the shed owners, they needed stalls to keep their belongings and products, and according to the Spokesperson for the group, Madam Agata Kissi, “they [the authorities] provided the design for the metal works” and they constructed the stalls to meet their needs.
However, after waiting for weeks for the commissioning of the market for use, she said “the onion sellers [Agbogbloshie onion sellers] came and took over the place.”
“We went to the assembly to file complaints but they calmed us down and assured us that since we took the shops and sheds from the authorities so we are safe; If there is any problem, they are going to deal with it so we should not worry.
“Meanwhile, February 2, 2022, was exactly two years since we made the payments for the shops. We paid GH₵1000 for the sheds,” she added.
On the payment, Mr. Ampadu added that though the shops were priced at GH₵5000, some of their members including himself paid extra to acquire the spaces.
“Some of us paid GH₵7,000 others paid GH₵8000. I for instance did not hear about it so when I went to secure one, the in-charge at the time made me understand that the shops have all been taken so the ones left are those that are being resold and the owner charged GH₵7000 for it. I paid GH₵5000 into the account and gave her GH₵2000 right there.”
They are therefore asking the government to give them back their shops and sheds or to refund the monies paid to the assembly with interests.
“There are two things involved because the government entered into a genuine contract with us; so it is either the government will give our shops and sheds back to us or they will pay back our monies with interest. Because i am a business person the aim of every business person is to maximize profit.”
Meanwhile, some affected traders have lamented that the money used in payment for the shops and sheds were loans taken from individuals and companies on which they were expected to pay interests.
One of the traders, Patience Hammond, expressing her frustrations, said she sold a shop she owned at Kasoa to be able to secure the one under contention.
Meanwhile, efforts to reach the Municipal Chief Executive of the area, Clement Wilkinson and the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, have proved futile.