A group known as the Accra Mall Tenants Association is calling on government to assist them to engage with management of the Mall over what they call exorbitant rent and service charges they pay to do business at the facility.
The shop owners say although managers of the Mall offered them some relief package due to the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic; it was not enough as it lasted for only one month.
Speaking to Citi Business News, President of the Accra Mall Tenants Association, Rev John Baidoo Danquah, said they have been compelled to take this action because management of the Mall has refused to address their issues.
He wants management of the mall to reduce rent for all tenants since the COVID-19 pandemic is taking a toll on their businesses.
He also wants government to stop the management from charging rent in dollars as it flouts the Foreign Exchange Act of the country.
“For two years now, we have been trying to petition them to look into the agreement or the lease to rebate or to reduce the rent for us. They charge us in dollars which is against the laws of Ghana regarding businesses.We sell in cedis and they charge us in dollars. We pay compounding interest when you are not able to pay in full per a month, and so that is very debilitating to every business. We also employ close to about 2,000 workers, pay our taxes, and also pay our workers. With all of this, how are we supposed to survive even as the COVID-19 pandemic is also taking a toll on our businesses,” he said.
Lawyer for the group, Dr. Emmanuel Maurice Ankrah of Kuukua Legal Consulting, also stressed the lack of promotional activities by the management to improve revenue, which slumped due to management’s negligence in maintaining the mall.
“The managers were supposed to do promotional activities here, to bring clients; but they haven’t done it. As for the washrooms, they haven’t done anything about it. It is very bad and not something we would be proud of. They promised to rectify the situation, but till date, nothing has been done and Covid has come to make things worse,” he lamented.
This is not the first time the Accra Mall Tenants Association, have demonstrated against how the facility is being managed. It will be recalled that last year, some shops at the Mall, were locked up temporarily in protest against high rent charged by the managers of the facility.
This was after part of the ceiling in the mall collapsed and led to reduced revenue for the tenants. But at Tuesday’s Press Conference, the group threatened to embark on series of actions because their concerns have been neglected for over two years.
However, attempts by Citi Business News to seek a response from managers of the Mall, proved futile as they declined comment.