Tema, Aug.10, GNA - Traders in the Tema Community One market have threatened to stage series of protest if the Tema Metropolitan Assembly (TMA) does not reduce the “expensive market tolls”.
According to them, the recent increase in tolls by the Assembly, especially the annual operating license fee is exorbitant and exploitative and will negatively affect their livelihood.
Mr Joseph K. Andoh, Public Relations Officer, Tema Community One Market Traders Association, told the Ghana News Agency that some traders who used to pay GH¢100.00 were issued with bill of GH¢240.00 after the review.
Mr Andoh stated that the traders, especially the women, had decided not to pay the revised fees and threatened to run out of the market to avoid confrontation with the revenue mobilization officers of the Assembly.
He complained that in spite of the revenues collected from the market, security was very poor and locks to all the gates in the market were spoilt leading to the rampant theft of their wares.
“Even though we have reported severally to the Assembly, they are doing nothing about the gates, security and electricity. All they know is to increase fees,” he said.
He added that the situation was worrying as thieves entered the market at night and cut padlocks on shops to steal at will.
The market PRO also questioned why the TMA had privatized the operations of the public toilets in the market which fee of 80 pesewas per visit was too high.
Reacting to the concerns of the traders, Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, explained that the revised bills were based on valuation of the shops done by officials of Land Valuation Division.
Mr Anang-La noted that the increased fee was therefore a true reflection of the valuation adding that traders must appreciate that the Assembly needed those revenue to fund developmental and social projects in the Metropolis of which the market was part.
He gave the assurance that his outfit would address the broken gates and security issues in the market within one month.