ECG Plunges New Kejetia Market Into Darkness Over Unpaid Bills
Power cuts at the new Kejetia Market located in the Ashanti Region have slowed down activities and led to the closure of shops on Wednesday. Officials of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) had embarked on a disconnection exercise plunging the entire facility into total darkness. Traders like Yaw Boateng was outraged.
“This morning we were at our base when we saw that the light was off. We inquired and were told that ECG has cut the power supply, throwing businesses of gear”, the 62-year-old tailor said as he tells his apprentices to lock his shop and retire home. “This situation will affect trading activities here. This problem can’t be solved if we are not provided with our own meters. Things appear not working in this facility”, another said. While many resorted to lights on their phones to work, others had to call it a day.
A recent standoff nearly turned violent after managers of the facility locked up shops owned by over 700 traders over nonpayment of electricity bills. A report suggests the facility owes over ¢4million as six months electricity bill. The new Kejetia Market operates a centralized electricity meter. After several appeals to the Electricity Company of Ghana, the City Market Management is yet to succeed in providing separate meters for each stall.
The leadership of the traders’ union had asked shop owners to suspend the payment of the bills to protest management’s failure to resolve the impasse. Chairman of the Federation of Kejetia Traders Eric Nana Prempeh said: “It’s quite unfortunate we’ve reached this stage…We put the blame entirely on the board because for over 7,203 shops to use one meter is totally unreasonable”. “We are going round to tell our members not to open their shops so we take steps to meet and resolve the matter. Not that we can’t pay the bills but it’s on the higher side”, Prempeh said.
Sources close to management told dailymailgh.com that the facility risks being shut down over the development.