The Millennium Development Authority (MiDA) has devoted 10 million dollars of the 498.2 million-dollar grant for the Market Access Project, under the Power Compact II, to bolster electricity supply in eight markets and enhance business productivity.
The Project would ensure laying of new electrical cables, provision of security lights and new transformers to the selected markets to ensure regular supply of electricity, halt illegal power connections and prevent frequent fire outbreaks.
The beneficiary markets are in Accra and Tamale including Makola, Madina, Dansoman and Agbogbloshie Number One markets.
Others are Timber Market and Kaneshie Market as well as the Tamale Central and Timber markets.
The Project would also support small-and-medium scale enterprises, especially those using electrical machinery for their work such as cold store operators, seamstresses and tailors, hairdressers and vulcanizers with the ultimate goal of reducing poverty in the country.
MiDA is expected to open the tender for the Project by the close of the year to enable interested contractors to put in their bid, whilst actual ground work would begin in the first quarter of 2019 and be completed within the stipulated duration of the Compact (2021).
At a media briefing in Accra to update the public on the Project, Mr Samuel Asare Afram, the Access Project Manager at the MiDA, said the overall goal was to alleviate poverty and engender economic growth.
He said MiDA would collaborate with the Electricity Company of Ghana and the Northern Electricity Distribution Company as well as the various assemblies where about 3,500 new vendors and businesses would be connected to electricity at the completion of the project.
This would resolve the bottlenecks in the electricity distribution and help to improve profitability and productivity of small and medium scale enterprises and boost their contributions to national development.
Mr Afram noted that the security lights would improve illumination in the markets at night to minimise thefts and ensure vendors traded a little longer.
On Wednesday, May 9, Mr Afram said engineers on the Project would undertake detailed design and meet relevant stakeholders at a meeting at Makola Market to kick start the Project, to allow inputs into the final implementing document before commencement of work.
He said it had contracted a consultant to undertake sensitisation in the selected markets so that the traders would understand the scope of the Project and to ensure their safety.
In August 2014, the Ghana and the United States governments, through the Millennium Challenge Corporation, signed the Second Power Compact to improve Ghana’s power sector with 498.2 million dollars.