A former New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for the AhafoAno South Constituency in the Ashanti Region, Hon Stephen Kwaku Balado Manu has said government?s decision to rebuild the burnt Kantomanto market demonstrates inherent contradictions and lack of foresight.
Speaking on Citi Fm?s weekend news analysis program, The Big Issue last Saturday, the former opposition law maker accused the Mahama administration of being inconsistent in its developmental agenda, questioning; what has happened to the same government?s intention of revamping the railway system.
In his opinion, instead of government developing the destroyed Kantamanto market into a modern market, the land should rather be reverted to its original intended use as a national railway terminal, under the planned rehabilitation and expansion of the railway sub-sector.
?We all know that place to be a terminal for the railways. Suddenly, nobody is talking about the railways. We are all talking about the new market and who will be beneficiaries of the stalls. That same government talks about revamping the railway system. You see the inherent contradictions in our policy?
According to Hon. Balado Manu, ?now, it is like we have accepted the idea of the market and now the question is whether or not, those there now will be given the stalls there.?
Fire outbreak at the Kantamanto market ten days ago destroyed the entire market leading to massive loss of goods and properties.
The government through the city authorities immediately promised to develop the place into a modern market. This met protestation from the affected traders who believed they would be bypassed in the re-allocation of stalls when the project is completed.
But Mr. Balado Manu who is not enthused with government?s decision to rebuild the market is also questioning the source of funding for the construction of the proposed modern market since it has not been factored in government?s budget for this year.
?When were funds secured for that kind of modern market to be built…. I am very much against him [Alfred OkoVanderpuije, AMA Boss] and his plan of turning that place into a modern market. If I have to even box him, I wouldn?t mind.?
The Minster of Lands and Natural Resources, AlhajiInusahFuseini has meanwhile, supported the call.
According to AlhajiInusahFuseini ?I was quite lost for words when I heard they were going to turn that place into a modern market. And what even baffled me was that those who were demonstrating had said that they had obtained a lease from the Ghana Railways Authority.?
Source: The Al-Hajj, with Additional files from: EfuaIdanOsam/citifmonline