On the dawn of Sunday, February 16, 2020, eight structures at the Trade Fair site in Accra were pulled down on the orders of the Ghana Trade Fair Company, to pave way for a massive redevelopment project that has been on the drawing board since 2017.
Owners of the affected companies say they were not notified to empty their structures, whereas some have suggested political witch-hunt, especially in the case of Raymond Archer, CEO of Color Planet, a known Journalist believed to be sympathetic to the opposition National Democratic Congress, NDC.
But management of the Ghana Trade Fair Company explained that the demolition was in response to a ruling by the High Court in Accra on Wednesday, 12th February 2020, which vacated an injunction order by some of the affected occupants, for the government to go ahead with the face-lift of the Ghana Trade Fair site for the betterment of the nation as well as Plaintiffs.
It says a Master-plan for the redevelopment project was approved by the Board and Cabinet, and a horizontal developer secured with PPA approval on 28th June 2019, to provide the critical infrastructure needed for the lease of the site to private developers, to develop the various facilities to support the Ghana Trade Fair Company’s Convention and Exhibition Facilities.
According to management, the occupants were given ample notice to leave the premises after they started engaging them in 2017.
The Ghana Trade Fair Company has denied claims that it particularly targeted Mr. Raymond Archer on political grounds. It explained that in all, 28 structures have been affected, and so they could not have targeted anyone in particular.
The company also specifically denied Mr. Archer’s claims that his machines and equipment have been recklessly damaged.
“We deny his claim and state again that we took great care to avoid damage to equipment, limiting the demolition to the outer walls, roof and ceilings. The Company states further, for the avoidance of doubt that several demolitions had taken place in the place earlier last year mainly properties which the Ghana Trade Fair Company itself uses for exhibitions” the company said in a statement.
The Trade Fair Company has thus released a list of the 28 affected companies comprising private, government agencies and one foreign entity.
Below is the list of 28 companies affected by redevelopment exercise.