Some traders at the Agblogbloshie Market in Accra are calling on city authorities to take steps to evacuate all traders selling on the shoulders of the roads.
The traders lamented to Citi Business News how they struggle on a daily basis to attract customers to their sheds, due to the activities of those selling by the roadside who have blocked the entrance.
After the recent construction of the Agblogbloshie Market road, shop owners and traders thought it would rather open the market up for buyers to easily access the market.
But it appears this is not the case, as the activities of wayside sellers have worsened and become a hindrance to legitimate shop owners inside the market.
According to the traders who sell in the market, some of their colleagues have also decided to sell on the shoulders of the road just to keep up, a situation that is preventing people from making purchases in the market.
One of the traders said, “Customers don’t enter the market to shop anymore because everything is made available to them by the road side. But we pay all the necessary taxes to the AMA, yet we make no sales”.
Another trader said “I want government to force the traders to pay and come into the market so we can all have a level playing field, else the market will collapse”.
According to the angry traders , the practice is not just affecting their business, but also infringes on the by-laws of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly, AMA.
“Sales are very slow because of this issue. I leave home, pick a bus here, but I end up sleeping most of the time because of how slow business has been. Since morning, I have only recorded a single sale. Government must take a serious look at this” another trader said.
The women who sell by the roadside defended their action.
Aunt Akosua, Spokesperson for the traders, explained to Citi Business News that “We used to sell together with those inside, but the conditions were unfavorable. We were always running at a loss so we thought it best to find a better alternative to make a living. That is why we are here”.
Aside from the profits they make, there’s a concern about the safety of these traders, as selling by the roadside exposes them to drivers who drive recklessly.
But the traders do not seem bothered as long as they have to make a living.