Traders at the Kejetia market have expressed their displeasure with the management of the facility over what they describe as their lackadaisical attitude in resolving individual metering issues at the market.
The traders have for years been calling for the provision of separate meters, but they say the management has been indecisive and slow to act.
They argue that this is killing their businesses, as they are forced to pay high electricity bills.
In order to compel the management to take action, the traders have announced that they will be wearing red bands starting on Tuesday, September 5, 2023.
They have also threatened to stage a massive demonstration if their demands are not met by Monday, September 11, 2023.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Nana Akwasi Prempeh, the President of the Federation of Kumasi Traders, said, “During the last PURC review, before the September review, the May one, we were paying light bills around GH¢640,000, a month when the July review came, it shot up to GH¢776,000 a month. So you realised that there’s a huge increment in the light bills. It affected the traders directly. When ECG tells us they have meters, what is the management doing, or what is preventing the management from doing the separation works for everyone to have his/her meter separate meter. It makes us assume that somebody is benefiting in some way.”
He added, “We cannot sit down unconcerned. When we are not able to pay the bills, management locks up about 200 to 300 shops every blessed day because of the light bills. Management will not lock up anybody’s shop again if we have our own separate meters. Beginning tomorrow, September 5, we are hoisting red bands around the market and our shops, to signify our intent to management. After that, if need be, we will tell management to close the market, because we cannot continue to incur losses. We will use all the necessary forces to pursue that agenda. If need be we will do a demonstration.”
The traders have also expressed disappointment at the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the board of the facility, and the management for their inability to disclose the content of the committee’s report almost six months after a part of the market was destroyed by fire.
They have also blamed the authorities for the delay in acting on the recommendations of the committee.
Speaking to Citi Business News, Nathaniel Boamponsem, a spokesperson for the affected traders, expressed his frustration and urged the authorities to take action.
“It’s been almost six months and we have not heard anything from anybody. We met with the committee, and we heard that the report is out, but we are not privy to the report. They even said they were going to get us a place in the meantime, but nothing has been done. We are still at home and not working. The little capital we have, we are depending on it, and there is a big problem.
“We are totally disappointed at every process at every level. As of now, all hope is lost. We are just looking forward to God for his help. We are pleading that they make the recommendations or report public.”