Untared road leading to Takoradi Kokompe
Members of the Western Regional branch of the Ghana National Association of Garages operating at the Takoradi Kokompe-Light industrial area have vented their spleen on the city’s authorities for allegedly doing nothing to improve on the bad road network in the area.
According to them, the road network, spanning about 13 kilometres, was in such a bad state that customers who visited the area to service their vehicles returned with some other problems, allegedly caused by the poor road network.
This, the members noted, had led to customers resorting to other alternatives by taking their vehicles to shops and garages located at unauthorized places in the metropolis.
“The situation has led to a drastic reduction in business for the garage owners and spare parts sellers to the extent that the daily turnover of many of us has dropped sharply from $1 million in 2008 to $200.00,” one of the mechanics told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE.
CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE gathered that there were about 5,000 garages in the area that engaged in all manner of artisanal works ranging from auto mechanization, welding and spraying to blacksmithing. The area serves as the leading automobile servicing and spare parts centre for both the Western and Central regions.
In an interview, Joseph Oppong Sarpong, Western regional Chairman of the Ghana National Association of Garages, lamented that as a result of the deplorable nature of the road network, most of the garage owners had relocated to other parts of the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis, thus leading to the springing up of garages at unauthorized places with its attendant environmental problems.
He indicated that other businesses such as banks and insurance companies located at the vicinity were threatening to relocate.
Mr. Vincent Annan, accredited Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Service Provider to the Association, noted that improvement of the road network and other social amenities would encourage greater participation of the private sector in providing enhanced service centres within Kokompe and make the place a one-stop shop for customers.
He mentioned that the resurfacing of the entire 13 km road network at the Kokompe light industrial area would bring about significant boost in the businesses of garage owners and help create jobs for the youth.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Takoradi