MANAGEMENT of the Kaneshie Market Complex is planning to construct an additional edifice to accommodate the increasing number of traders in the market.
Estimated at US$ 41million, the new nine-storey multi-purpose business complex, when completed, is expected to accommodate larger numbers and businesses.
The Managing Director of the Kaneshie Market Complex, Mr Edmund Kofi Duffour Addae, told the paper in an interview on October 11, 2018.
“We are looking at putting up an edifice here – seven to nine storey multi-purpose complex – to change the landscape around Kaneshie and its environs. We are currently in dialogue with our board and other financiers to do that since the architectural design has already been completed a few years ago.”
He added that the existing market complex would also be going under renovation to make it more attractive.
“The market itself will be averted in a way by redesigning it a bit. The same people will redesign and bring some beauty into the Kaneshie market as we see it, so that will change it a little bit,” he stated.
Mr Addae highlighted the functions of the revenue department within the Kaneshie Market among other departments (environmental, security, maintenance, administration and accounts).
Mr Addae told this paper that the market complex leaned on revenue garnered from occupants, in and around the market, to foot the utility bills.
“We have our revenue department. They go round, take money from the squatters and hawkers (GH¢1.50 per head) as well as tenants who rent the market stalls and anybody who is doing business within Kaneshie and making money. We also take money from the drivers because they are on our car park and we make money from them and they are using our car park to make money too,” he said.
Information gathered in and around the market indicated that prices of commodities were relatively the same.
That was as a result of both sellers in and outside the market taking their products from the same wholesale depots.
For instance, five kilograms of Gino rice was sold at GH¢55 in shops in the market while the same quantity and brand was sold at GH¢57 by sellers outside the market.
However, some perishable commodities such as tomatoes, garden eggs and okro were sold at the same price in and outside of the market.
According to some sellers who were interviewed, the price of the big box of tomatoes had gone up from about GH¢600 to GH¢1,200 over the past 18 months.
That, they said, was as a result of increases in transportation fares and taxes.
“The prices are up because we now take the tomatoes from Burkina Faso which attract huge transportation costs, coupled with huge weigh bills and duties for bringing them to the market,” a seller explained.
They were however optimistic that the prices would decrease when the ‘Kumasi tomatoes’ come in November.
A shop owner, Hajia Sawdatu, indicated that shop owners in the market were being affected due to the activities of sellers outside the market.
According to her, they sold virtually the same commodities as sellers in the market and that was having a heavy toll on their businesses.
“Since we all have the same price range, customers would not want to walk all their way into the market when they can get the same commodities at a relatively same price with those who sell outside,” she added.
In furtherance, she bemoaned how they have to bear the cost of rentals, payment of taxes and electricity and other utility bills at the end of every month and still suffer poor patronage of their shops.
“Our businesses are being taken over by those selling outside. This is working to our detriment, though they do not pay any rentals and bills, they make a lot of money than those of us inside.”
In an interview with another trader who dealt in cosmetics and make-up kits who pleaded anonymity, she averred the claim made by Hajia Sawdatu, adding that those who sold outside had paid some stipends to some authorities, and thus, have turned a blind eye towards the activities in the market.
“We have lodged several complaints to the authorities but nothing has been done about it,” she said.
Mr Addae, however, debunked the allegations by saying that most of the hawkers were working for those within the market.
“Most of the tenants sell to the squatters. Eight out of 10 squatters sell goods supplied to them by the sit-in tenants,” he said in defence.
The Kaneshie Market was conceived in 1969 during Busia regime. The project was actualised by General Kutu Acheampong in collaboration with National Investment Bank (NIB), Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) and State Insurance Company (SIC) to control the sprawling market.
The three banks later brought the Accra Metropolitan Authority (AMA) on board. These 4 bodies jointly financed the construction of the edifice. The private business entity, inaugurated in 1979 by Former President Rawlings, houses over 100,000 market folk.
The Kaneshie Market complex celebrates 39th anniversary this year since its inception. —