At least seven trader unions at the Kumasi Kejetia market have directed their members to shut down their shops after the Electricity Company of Ghana, ECG, took the trading hub off the national grid due to a GHC5 million debt.Wednesday’s crackdown by the power distributor has affected business at the market, especially at night.ImpasseChecks reveal that the impasse between traders and managers of the Kejetia market over nonpayment of utilities has resulted in an accumulated debt of over GH¢5 million owed to the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG).A close source familiar with the development told dailymailgh.com that traders have defaulted on paying bills for 14 months in protest against exorbitant charges.The traders have begun to pile pressure on managers of the market to sign the contract for the installation of separate meters, following the development.ThreatsTraders at Kejetia market pay ¢40,000 for electricity every month, with each shop paying an average of ¢100 and ¢200.To deal with the challenge, they have on several occasions pleaded with the management of the Kumasi City Market to get them separate meters.With the latest power cuts, the traders have intensified that call stressing that the safety of their members cannot be guaranteed.“ECG disconnected yesterday at about 11:15 am and this morning as I speak there is no power.
We have directed all our members to close down their shops.
We cannot compromise the security of our traders and the market as a whole.
We have asked the managers and the ECG to install every shop with meters but this has fallen on death ears,” said Nana Prempeh, Chairman of the Kejetia Petty Traders Association.“The NPP has disappointed us.
So we are sending this message to all stakeholders including the presidency and the Local Government Ministry that Kejetia is an area where every person can cause havoc.
We are calling on the managers to restore power or the facility remain closed,” Prempeh said.At the time of filing this report, the market was still without power.: