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No spare parts dealer will be ejected - Association

BY: Juliet Akyaa Safo
Clement Boateng (left), Co-Chairman of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, addressing the media in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA
Clement Boateng (left), Co-Chairman of the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association, addressing the media in Accra. Picture: ELVIS NII NOI DOWUONA

The Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association has stated that no dealer operating within the Abossey Okai enclave will be ejected.

According to the association, the intended relocation to Afienya by the Greater Accra Regional Coordinating Council is optional.

A group known as the National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association had on Tuesday, May 10, 2022 held a press conference to oppose the plan by the government to relocate them.

Press conference

However, the Co-chairman of the association, Clement Boateng, at a press conference in Accra last Wednesday explained that the relocation issue had been on the drawing board for more than 50 years, in which the predecessors had appealed to successive governments to relocate them.

He said the current executive decided to push the request to all presidential candidates during the tour in the run-up to the 2020 general election.

Following that, he said, upon assumption of office, the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, had meetings with members together with spare parts dealers at Kokompe, where he pledged the government’s support to put up a modern West Africa automotive hub which would include shops, workshops, vehicle sales centres, financial institutions and a railway line to transport goods from Tema to the site.

The automotive hub would also include schools, restaurants, custom bonded warehouses and a hospital, a police station and supermarkets.

“The message was conveyed to our members at one of the general meetings to solicit their views on the project. There was an overwhelming support from our members.

“However, soon after the meetings, the shop owners started to express their displeasure about the project.

We have had several meetings with them and have assured them that nobody is going to be ejected from here. But they seem not to be satisfied and have decided to kick against the project,” Mr Boateng said.

Majority support

Mr Boateng said currently majority of its members had supported the relocation to Afienya and had already registered in that regard.

In spite of resistance by some dealers, Mr Boateng said, they “will continue to pursue the project to its logical conclusion.

We want the public to know that the executive are not seeking their selfish interest as speculated by the group but we want to seek the interest and welfare of our members”.

Reason for relocation

He mentioned the lack of toilet facilities, parking space and poor sanitary conditions as some of the reasons why the relocation was necessary.

Currently, Abossey Okai has close to 5,000 shops and as of November last year when we stopped the registration, over 2,500 had registered.

“We cannot let this project slip out of our hands because of the selfish and parochial interest of the minority to the detriment of the majority.

“The world is evolving and it is about time we adjusted ourselves to meet the demands of the growing automotive industry,” he said.

Meanwhile, a member of the National Concerned Spare Parts Dealers Association, Richard Obeng, said they would still reject the move to relocate until they engaged with the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Henry Quartey, who announced the plan for their relocation.