Energy Minister Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh has assured traders in Kumasi Kejetia who have been protesting for a separate pre-paid meter system for each shop that their demands will soon be met.
The Manhyia South MP gave the assurance when he visited the burnt portion of Kejetia Market extension lane on Monday 20th March 2023.
Addressing the traders, he disclosed that 2000 pre-paid meters have arrived in Kumasi for ECG to begin installation soon.
Dr. Mathew Opoku Prempeh, who was in the accompany of Vice President Dr. Mahamadu Bawumia, First Lady Samiratu Bawumia, Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, interior Minister Ambrose Dery and Mr. Fred Oware paid a visit to Kejetia fire victims to empathize with them.
After touring the burnt portion of the market, Energy Minister Dr. Mathew Opoku assured the traders that the government is committed to redeveloping the burnt section of the market as soon as possible to bring trade back.
He however, stressed irresponsible trading activities including cooking and selling of inflammable goods will no longer be encouraged in the market.
“We don’t cherish always coming to empathize with you victims of Kejetia Central market fire disasters. Myself, my senior brother and Majority leader have gone through a lot to ensure the construction of the Kejetia market to end human error fire disasters in the markets. We even travelled far away to Brazil to give you comfort. Please you can’t be cooking and doing whatever you like in the market. We can’t encourage that going forward”, he said. “Government will fix the problem but let us protect the market for our own interest. I’m seriously hurt because a lot of the victims are my family members” he lamented.
I’m seriously hurt because a lot of the victims are my family members
Dr. Opoku Prempeh said 2000 pre-paid meters are ready to be distributed to traders in the market to fulfill a long term request.
“2000 Pre-paid meters have been released by the Energy ministry to the Electricity Company of Ghana to begin installation in the Kejetia Market. That’s the first consignment; the other consignment is on the way ’’ he explained.
The Member of Parliament urged the Ashanti regional Minister Simon Osei Mensah and Mayor of Kumasi Samuel Pyne to sit up and ensure proper management of the Kejetia Market and other congested areas in Kumasi.
“We will bring back the market. I mean the burnt portion but we want to tell the regional minister and KMA Mayor that the market is in their care and they must sit up and ensure all illegalities in the market are appropriately checked. Are you all listening? They are managing the market, telling them all the illegalities and poor management of the facilities in the market. As minister of energy I have heard all shops are connected to one postpaid meter. We will bring in more meters than we have already brought in 2000 meters. We will bring more in phase to cover every shop in the market’’, he told the applauding traders.
The Queenmother of the Kejetia Yam Sellers Association also suggested that the management of Kumasi City Markets always bows to threats from the traders and therefore indirectly encourages illegalities in the market.
She disclosed that during the allocation of traders from central Market, Adoato Adumanu Market was originally allocated for sales of gun powder and other inflammable materials.
“I was part of the negotiating team for the relocation of the traders from Central Market to various satellite markets in Kumasi in making way for the construction of the second phase of the Central Market. Adoato Adumanu Market was allocated for trading in gunpowder, live bullet cartridges and other inflammable materials. So nobody has the right to trade in such commodities in the market. When we tell them to do the right thing they threaten not to vote. Are you all not enjoying free education and others from the government because you voted for the NPP in 2016 ? This time we will not allow any person to conduct any illegal trade in the market as market Queens’’ she said.