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The government of Ghana, through the Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Alan Kyerematen, has handed over a GHS2 million emergency liquidity support cheque to some 98 victims whose businesses were destroyed by a fire disaster that occurred on Monday, 5 July 2021.
The inferno destroyed a three-storey market building with a basement.
Three hundred jobs were lost to the disaster.
Handing over the cheque at the market square on Wednesday, 27 October 2021, Mr Kyerematen said the government released the GHS 2,029,000.00 to be disbursed to the victims.
“This support, we believe, will go a long way to mitigate the adverse effects on your businesses as a result of the fire incident”, he said.
Read Mr Kyerematen’s full speech below:
SPEECH BY MINISTER FOR TRADE AND INDUSTRY, HON. ALAN KYEREMATEN AT CEREMONY TO HANDOVER EMERGENCY LIQUIDITY SUPPORT TO MAKOLA FIRE DISASTER VICTIMS ON WEDNESDAY, 27TH OCTOBER, 2021 AT MAKOLA MARKET
• THE HON. REGIONAL MINISTER, GREATER-ACCRA REGION
• THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF NATIONAL DISASTER MANAGEMENT ORGANIZATION (NADMO)
• THE MAYOR, ACCRA METROPOLITAN ASSEMBLY
• THE CEO, GHANA ENTERPRISES AGENCY
• THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY, GHANA INT’L TRADE COMMISSION
• THE DISTRICT COMMANDER, GHANA POLICE SERVICE
• THE METRO. FIRE OFFICER, GHANA FIRE SERVICE
• THE METRO. DIRECTOR, NADMO
• THE PRESIDENT, GHANA UNION OF TRADERS’ ASSOCIATIONS
• THE PROPERTY OWNERS
• DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
Let me, first of all, express my profound gratitude to all stakeholder organizations who provided support services to the victims of the unfortunate fire incident here at Makola market, particularly the Ghana National Fire Service, the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), the Ghana Police Service, and the Accra Metro Assembly (AMA). I wish to single out the former Mayor of Accra, Nii Adjei Sowah for the leadership he exhibited during the crisis.
This public event is being held to hand over the emergency financial support by the government designed to mitigate the effect suffered by the enterprises as a result of the fire disaster which occurred on Monday, 5th July 2021. The inferno, as you would recall, gutted a three-storey market building with a basement situated at the currently clad area here in Makola. In all, ninety-eight (98) Enterprises were directly affected and about 300 jobs were lost to the disaster.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN
As you are well aware, trade and commerce play a critical role in the economic development of every country. Trading has become the channel between manufacturing and consumption, as every product that is manufactured is consumed in order to complete the value chain. By acting as the channel between producers and consumers, trading has the potential to provide critical information as inputs into the production process, source of employment as well as serve as a platform for revenue mobilization in support of Government projects and programmes.
It is against this background that among the components of the Ten-Point Plan for Industrial Transformation of Ghana is enhancing Domestic Retail Trade by improving market and other distribution infrastructure as well as reducing administrative bottlenecks in domestic trade. Under this component, the government has sought to provide direct support to business operators in the trade and commerce ecosystem through the introduction of a number of measures to facilitate trade in and out of the country.
For example, upon the assumption of office of the NPP Government in 2017, the Ministry of Trade and Industry took a strategic and decisive step to address the challenges in trade facilitation and customs management which were impeding the work of many traders, by introducing a new Trade Facilitation and Customs Management System, UNIPASS. This new trade facilitation system has significantly improved the operations at our ports and borders.
In addition, Government took another strategic decision to support traders and micro enterprises through the provision of emergency liquidity support to the tune of GHS 600 million under the Coronavirus Alleviation Programme Business Support Scheme (CAPBuSS) when the whole world was struck by the COVID-19 Pandemic. I have recalled these few interventions to indicate to you that the Government is fully committed to the profitability and sustainability of your businesses.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
On the 6th of July 2021, when I paid a working visit to the scene of the market fire, I assured you that the Government will provide support to you. To this end, I tasked the Ghana Enterprises Agency to liaise with other key stakeholders particularly the Ghana Union of Traders Association, Accra Metropolitan Association (AMA) and the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) to determine liquidity relief support to you, the affected victims. I also tasked GEA to work with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to ensure transparency in the disbursement of funds.
In all, ninety-eight (98) victims were identified as having suffered levels of losses as a result of the unfortunate fire incident. The Government has therefore released an amount of Two Million, Twenty-Nine Thousand Ghana cedis (GHS 2,029,000.00) to be disbursed to these victims. This support we believe will go a long way to mitigate the adverse effects on your businesses as a result of the fire incident.
I wish to assure you that the team has gone through a rigorous transparent process to determine the level of support to each victim hence it is my wish that beneficiaries apply the money to take care of very critical needs.
DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
In conclusion, the Ministry of Trade and Industry will work with all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies to design a new retail market system to streamline the operations of our traders in our markets.
On this note, may I invite the representatives of the 98 victims to receive the symbolic Cheque of GHS2,029,000.00 on behalf of all the victims.
I thank you for your attention.