The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has charged managers of the redeveloped Kejetia Market to be fair in the allocation of the stores and stalls to traders.
He asked the committee put in charge of the allocation to adhere to the modalities agreed on for the exercise to ensure that displaced traders were catered for first.
The Asantehene, who made the call when he toured the facility last Sunday as part of activities marking the 20th anniversary of his enthronement, which falls in May this year, said it would be unfair for those who were displaced by the construction of the project to be bypassed in favour of outsiders.
The Asantehene expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done on the market project and commended the contractors, Contracta Engenharia.
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He entreated the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to quicken the process for the opening of the market, so that traders would have a good place to operate from.
When that was done, he said, space would be created for the commencement of work on the Central Market Redevelopment project.
He pledged to support the managers of the city to successfully implement the project and asked them to call on him anytime they needed his assistance.
From the Kejetia Market the Asantehene and his entourage, which included the Ashanti Regional Minister, Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, and the Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Osei Assibey Antwi, visited the Kumasi Airport and the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital (KATH).
At the airport, the Chief Executive of Contracta, Mr Fabio Camara, briefed Otumfuo Osei Tutu on the ongoing Kumasi International Airport phase two project.
He explained that for the airport to have full certification as an international facility, there was the need for a phase three, which would have the full complement of facilities needed for an international airport.
Mr Camara said all the financial arrangements were in place for the commencement of phase three once approval was granted.
He stated that when completed, the Kumasi International Airport would have a tarmac that could take two Boeing 737 aircraft, a new fire station, two boarding bridges, a runway, a new control tower and a bigger car park.
“This will ensure that the airport is fully functional, ready to receive international flights and allow for the accommodation of the predicted increase in passengers in the near future,” he explained.
Mr Camara said it was expected that the airport would handle up to 800,000 passengers annually, with two carousels for luggage handling.
The phase two, which started about six months ago, is expected to be completed next year.
Mr Camara said as soon as the loan agreement for phase three was approved, the contractors would start working 24 hours and employ 200 more people to increase its staff strength to 600 for the early completion of the project.
He said the first batch of prefabricated steelwork that would be used for the construction works had arrived at the Tema Port, with the rest being manufactured to be shipped to the country shortly.
He put the extent of work done on the project at 14 per cent.
At KATH, the Asantehene was met by the Medical Director of the hospital, Prof. Kofi Baafour Poku, who briefed him on the importance of the Maternity and Children’s Block to health delivery in the country.
He said the project, which was started in 1979 by the Gen. Kutu Acheampong government, had suffered a lot of delays and expressed the hope that work on it would soon be completed to enhance maternity health services in the country.
Prof. Poku said plans were far advanced for a new contractor to take over and complete the project, adding that management had had interactions with the new company over some changes to the original plan to create a modern and more efficient medical facility.
According to him, the management now “wants all the theatres to be on one floor and the delivery rooms too on one floor”.
That, he said, would make connecting from one theatre to another very easy and also put less pressure on patients when transferring them to the theatres.
He stated that in addition to ancillary facilities and equipment, the Maternity and Children’s Block was planned to have 750 beds within the existing partially constructed six-storey building.