Government is set to disburse an amount of GH¢2,029,000 as support for the 98 traders who were recently affected by the fire that gutted a three-story building at Makola in Accra.
On July 5, 2021, fire gutted a three-story building known as the Hong Kong Building at the Makola Market, destroying over fifty shops.
It took the Ghana National Fire Service four days to completely put out the fire, destroying items worth millions of cedis.
A seven-member committee, under the leadership of the former Mayor of Accra, Mohammed Adjei Sowah, was subsequently set up to investigate the cause and extent of damage and integrity of the three-story building.
The government also commissioned an Audit Committee including the Trade Ministry, the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and Ghana Enterprise Agency to assess the effect of the fire disaster on businesses and livelihoods.
The Ministry in collaboration with the Ghana Enterprises Agency on Wednesday, October 27 met some affected traders to provide financial support to mitigate the effects of the fire disaster.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen, announcing the amount allocated to support the affected traders, assured the government’s commitment to alleviating the effect of the inferno.
“Government has a lot it is dealing with however, we will ensure that whatever is due you will be given to you. It is unfortunate that this incident occurred, but the government has done its best work with the Ghana Enterprise Agency, GUTA, NADMO and other members of the committee to come up with this support.”
“Government has made available an amount of GH¢2,029,000 to support all affected traders.”
The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Enterprise Agency, Kosi Antwiwaa Yankey-Ayeh, provided details of the intervention.
“We did an assessment of what had happened, and we realized that we needed to assist them with some form of support. The reason was that as much as possible, we need to get them to start again, especially since the year was coming to an end. So what we did was that under the Ministry’s direction, GH¢2,029,000 was earmarked for the project for 98 people. They are to meet the Ghana Enterprise Agency in the coming days for a conversation, and they will be directed to the Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) where the account will be opened for disbursement”.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, Alan Kyerematen said the government was working with GUTA to establish a bank specifically to support the needs of traders.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, said plans are far advanced in this regard.
“Very soon we’re going to launch the traders’ bank (Ghana Traders Bank). That is even long overdue because we command the bulk of savings that we do in this country, and yet we do not get the benefit thereof. The mainstream banks take it all from us. So now arrangement is far ahead for us to establish the Ghana Traders Bank. The Ministry has given us consultation, and we are going to formalize the savings and loans business, and put it in a very innovative way, so traders can access loans at an affordable rate”.
Some beneficiaries of this intervention expressed their gratitude towards the government.
“We are thankful to God for this intervention. We are grateful to the Minister of Trade and Industry for this support”.
“We are thankful to the government for this intervention. With this help, we’ll be able to revive our businesses once again.”