Ashanti Regional Minister-designate, Simon Osei Mensah, has given traders at the Kumasi Central Market up to midnight of March 13 to relocate from their present location.
The Minister-designate says the refusal by traders to relocate could affect the second phase of the Central Market redevelopment project.
He is worried that the continued delays may affect access to the loan facility to be used for the project.
Mr. Osei Mensah, who spoke to journalists in Kumasi, warned that traders will be forcefully evicted from the area if they refuse to relocate.
“If we delay till the end of March and we enter April, we are going to have extreme difficulties with accessing the loan that has been granted to us,” he said.
The traders were initially given a March 7 deadline to relocate, but the Regional Minister said he would offer one last chance.
“By midnight of 13th March 2021, anybody or any trader that has not removed his or her items from the place, if the persons comes to find the place demolished or the place graded down, I will not receive any complaints,” Mr. Osei Mensah stated.
“We will not wait and look on for us to lose this project,” he stressed further.
Some traders who are refusing to relocate had pulled down the barricade erected at the project site by contractors.
Community Liaison Officer for Contrata, the construction firm executing the project, Emmanuel Danso also complained that traders were not cooperating as he welcomed the minister’s ultimatum.
“Yesterday there was a lot of mess. They were even throwing stones at our workers, but we are in to develop Kumasi, not to destroy,” Mr. Danso said.