Some traders at the new Kejetia Market in Kumasi have agitated over the decision of the Management of the market to lock up their shops over non-payment of agreed premiums.
Some of the traders who resumed work Wednesday morning to find their stalls locked, forcefully unlocked the padlocks.
Managers of the facility explained that an agreement was reached with traders to pay premium for their shops yearly, but most of them have failed to do so, three years into operations.
Traders at Kejetia pay between GH¢25,000 and GH¢40,000 per annum as premium.
They are expected to pay a total amount of GH¢169 million as premium to the government.
But less than GH¢90 million has been received, despite an agreement to pay within a year.
Management needs to access 20 percent of the amount for the maintenance of the Kejetia Market.
Manager of the Kumasi City Markets Limited, Kofi Duffour Addai, said the measure is to compel the traders to honour the agreed payments.
“These shops have been given out since 2019…and three years now, people have not made a single cedi payment and they are operating the shops,” he said.
The leadership of the traders has, however, raised issues of compensation.
According to them, the government promised to compensate traders whose shops were destroyed to pave way for the market reconstruction.
Despite the agreement, the government has failed to pay the over 2,000 shop owners; hence, their decision to default in payment of the premium.
President of Federation of Kumasi Traders, Nana Prempeh, said the traders had to unlock the shops because they deemed the closure as unlawful.
Traders relocated from the Kumasi Central Market to the new Kejetia Market are also reluctant to pay because they are unclear of plans to return to their former trading spaces when the second phase of the redevelopment project is completed.
But Management of the facility entreated the traders to pay the premium while the government works on the compensation.