The Ga East Municipal Assembly (GEMA) is expected to create over 1,000 jobs for women and youth in the municipality upon the completion of the Haatso Market. This was contained in a speech delivered by the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Hon. John Kwao Sackey, when he cut sod for the continuation and completion of the market project.
According to the MCE, the construction of the Haatso Market began by the then Ga District Assembly under the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration but stalled after the coming into power of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2001. However, with the return of the NDC to power in 2008, plans were made to continue the project.
He seized the opportunity to call on all political parties in the country, particularly, the NDC and NPP, to make it their core agenda to continue all projects bequeathed to them by their predecessors.
“I am not saying this to score political points but to make an appeal to all parties in the country that irrespective of the party in power, projects started by another party must be continued and completed in the interest and advancement of the people”.
The MCE noted that “the idea to complete this market had long been on the Assembly’s plans, and today, we can all heave a huge sigh of relief and be optimistic hereafter because the project is now on course and is expected to make positive impact on the people in and around Haatso and, indeed, the entire municipality, especially women, traders, the youth, farmers and transport owners”.
Hon. Kwao Sackey said the decision to continue the project was to complement government’s efforts in creating more jobs for the people.
“Today’s event is an indication of the desire and efforts of the Assembly to improve upon the socio-economic lives of the people in the municipality. These efforts are by no small means critical to the success of the vision of His Excellency the President of a Better Ghana aimed at Changing Lives and Transforming the Nation”.
The MCE appealed to the prospective beneficiaries of the facility to “make culture of maintenance their priority to ensure its long life and serve the desired interest. We are also taking steps to improve the traffic situation around the market area”.
He further stated that the Assembly has initiated a number of programmes aimed at generating more revenue for the development of the municipality, citing the “Night Toll Collection” as a new introduction to the tax regime of the Assembly and urged the night business operators to cooperate and honour their tax obligations.
The Municipal Engineer, Mr. Justin Glover, noted that the required fire safety measures have been duly incorporated into the construction plan to prevent any fire outbreak while strict monitoring and supervision were being conducted to ensure value-for-money work done by the contractor.
Mr Ato Halm, a representative of AGYAKOT Company Limited, said the contractor engaged local artisans for the construction work and assured the stakeholders of quality work.
The colourful event was also attended by the traditional leaders in Haatso, Papao and Naamah, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Dome-Kwabenya, NDC’s Dome-Kwabenya Parliamentary Candidate, Nurudeen Mohammed, Assemblyman for Haatso, Hon. Jesse Nii Noi Anum, representatives of Political Parties including the NDC and NPP, Heads of Departments, women and youths as well as traders from the Haatso Yam Market.
The MP for Dome-Kwabenya, Hon. Sarah Adwoa Safo, was excited about the giant strides been made by the Assembly to improve the living conditions of the people and commended the MCE for his efforts.
She mentioned, among others, the recent sod-cutting for the construction of a National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) office and Maternity Centre at Haatso from her share of the District Assemblies Common Fund (DACF), as one of the significant steps towards the development of the municipality and constituency.
She used the occasion to appeal for political tolerance and peace towards this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections slated for November 7.
The Chiefs of Haatso and Papao, Nii Amarh Sogblah VI and Hon. Nii Annang Ofori (PM), respectively, both expressed gratitude to the Assembly and government for continuing the Haatso Market project.
They noted with optimism, the prospects of the market, when completed, to boost economic activities in the area and create more employment for the people, especially women and youth.
The Haatso Market, a two-storey modern facility with stores and stalls as well as a spacious car park, is estimated to cost about Two Million Ghana Cedis and expected to be completed by the close of this year.
Story by: Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman
Pictures by: Salamatu Seidu/Okunyin Boaz Orlan-Hackman