Mr Isaac Ashai Odamtten, former Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, has described as myopia the decision of the Tema Metropolitan Assembly to construct a ground car park at its frontage instead of a multi-storey one.
Mr Odamtten who is now the Member of Parliament for Tema East Constituency, emphasized that the decision shows complete lack of foresight or intellectual insight into the future and value for money instincts.
“I am therefore recommending to the new TMA Municipal Chief Executive to reconsider the project, am looking at utilization of the same land with the construction of storey car park rather than lateral one that cannot take much, it is not futuristic, it’s not sustainable, and it bears the question of vision,” he said.
Mr Odamtten stated this at the “Ghana News Agency – Tema Industrial News Hub Board Room Dialogue,” which aimed at creating the needed opportunity for state, non-state, industry players and other stakeholders to address topical national issues.
Answering a question on his take on the car park as a former Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive Officer, he said it was “visionless on the part of the Assembly not to consider building a modern car park to create space in the Tema Central Business District.
He noted that the economics of creating multi-storey car parks was positive, as experts say that car park facilities pay for themselves in less than ten years and in some cases three years “so these are not developments that must give us fears because you put resources in it you get it back.”
He said prior to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) losing Election 2016, the Assembly under his administration had plans to build a four-storey car park at the Assembly’s forecourt and its immediate surroundings to allow for more parking space and free the business area for trading.
He revealed that on street parking was a short-term intermediary arrangement to be adopted by the Assembly at some point to fill into a four-story parking facility where the basement will be for the Metromass.
“If you have that certainly the on-street parking will be limited to serious central business district customers,” he said.
Mr Odamtten noted that; “in other jurisdiction what they do is when you have to necessarily go into the central business district you pay high fess, so you weigh it against the benefits you have to get by going there, if you do not want to pay, you park and pay at the determine location and walk on.”
He added that “Tema doesn’t have the luxury of land so all our development project must be intentionally planned to accommodate more and that is why we were committed to creating the four-storey car park project to free the central business area.”
Mr Odamtten lamented that due to the Assembly’s over relying on street parking, there was some form of interference between the cars and women selling on the streets, which ended up leaving no walking space for pedestrian who were pushed onto the road to struggle with moving vehicles.
According to him, on July 10, 2016, the TMA advertised in the Daily Graphic page 48 for bids towards the construction of three major projects which included a multi-storey market structure, which was aimed at changing the central business district of Tema and create more space for traders.
“TMA had a team that worked with the Ministry of Finance’s public private partnership department, so we went through for nine months and came out with the advert and started receiving interests, for me TMA is gone like 10 to 30 years back.”
He said if the project had materialized it would have been bigger than the Kejetia market, explaining that while the Kejetia one was for the retail end, Tema’s own was supposed to be wholesale end because bulk of the goods came through the port, and also the industries were located in Tema therefore all it needed was to create the needed space.
“Our proposition was to rebuild the entire market, the idea was to create the central business market that will have hospitality and food industry at the top, two floors of terminal and still, accommodating more people so we can take off the traders who sold on the fringes of the road.”