Koforidua Central Market Traders Appeal For Reduction In Rates And Tolls

Traders occupying the New Juaben Municipal Assembly stores and sheds, have appealed for reduction in the recent increment of rates and tolls because they cannot afford.

According to the women, even though they had been engaged by the Assembly on the new rates and tolls, there was low patronage of their goods and services due to the current economic difficulties, and therefore wanted a reduction in the new rates.

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency (GNA), after presenting a petition to the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), the queen-mother of the Central Market, Nana Ama Bonsu, said, they earlier on agreed on the rates, but looking at conditions prevailing in the market they, they wanted a review.

According to Nana Bonsu, a store in the market that was rented for Gh12 with an operational permit of Gh2 cedis was now Gh24, including the operational permit fee, while a stall rented for Gh8 was now Gh21 cedis including the operational permit fee of two cedis.

However, Mr Samson Gyatto, Municipal Finance Officer, refuted their claim and said, the stores rate had been increased from Gh12-Gh17 and not GH 24 cedis as being claimed by the market women.

He said the operational fee of Gh2 had remained the same for about three years now without any increment, adding that for the past three years, the Assembly had not increased its rates and tolls.

Mr Gyatto disclosed that they met the stakeholders, including all the market queens, artisans, landlords and landladies severally last year before arriving at the new rates, and wondered where the women got their figures from.

He indicated that the stakeholders were made to understand why the Assembly was increasing the rates and gave them the opportunity to negotiate for an acceptable rate for all, adding that the Assembly had not increased the rates dramatically as the market women were claiming, and that a store that attracted a fee rate of Gh 12, been increased to Gh 17.

The Finance officer therefore admitted that there seemed to be a communication gap, and so gave the assurance that the Assembly would call an emergency meeting with all the stakeholders to address their grievances.

Mr Divine L. Simpiney, Municipal Budget Officer, said, the Assembly had not increased the fee rates for some time now, adding that the rates charged by the Assembly were what they used to develop the markets and made sure the environment was clean.