Executive members of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the Ghana National Tomato Traders and Transporters Association (GNTTTA) are on a collision course with the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA,) Dr. Alfred Okoe Vanderpuije.
The development, Today learnt, follows the decision by the AMA boss to allow “recalcitrant” tomato traders to sell in “unauthorised and illegal” markets at CMB and Railway Line in the Accra metropolis at the detriment of the registered tomato traders.
According to them, the rules and regulations governing the sale of tomato under the ministries of local government and rural development (MLRD) and trade and industry (MOTI) stipulate that “the non-registered tomato traders should not be allowed to trade in tomato business in any government allocated market in the country.”
But the General Secretary of GNTTTA, Mrs. Lydia Afoley Annum, noted that the turf was gradually becoming a flashpoint as competing tomato traders at CMB and Railway Line engaged in physical scuffle for visibility and space.
Mrs. Annum in an exclusive interview with Today on Saturday, July 11, 2015 decried the continuous silence of Dr. Vanderpuije over the rumpus between the legitimate members of the GNTTTA and the non-members of the association.
The GNTTTA executives, Mrs. Annum stressed, could not understand why the AMA boss together with the Korle Wulomo, Nuumo Korle and Kweikuma Tso Shishi supported such action(s) of the non-members of the association, describing the posture of the AMA boss as “surprising and disappointing.”
According to Mrs. Annum, tomato business is a strategic investment in the economy and for that matter, government must ensure that the right things are done.
Flanked by some executive members of GNTTTA including Mrs. Rebecca Addy Ansah, Madam Margaret Akrong, Mrs. Rebecca Ashong and Mr. Johnson Annan during the interview, Mrs. Annum accused Dr. Vanderpuije of aiding some non-members of the association to ignore the laid down procedures for the sale of tomatoes in the various markets in Accra.
And that development, Mrs. Annum lamented, would affect the tomato business of the registered members of GNTTTA.
The GNTTTA scribe revealed that the association has a timetable for its members indicating when a member or a certain group of people within the association could sell their tomatoes including those imported from the neighbouring countries.
But, according to her, Dr. Vanderpuije’s decision to allow what she described as “impunity” to creep into the association was uncalled for.
She disclosed that in their effort to ensure sanity, the association wrote two separate letters to Dr. Vanderpuije and the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Nii Laryea Afotey Agbo, to intervene in the situation, yet nothing was done about it.
What was very disheartening, according to Mrs. Annum, was the refusal of Dr. Vanderpuije to respond to the letters as well as to meet the executive members of the Greater Accra Regional branch of the GNTTTA to chart the way forward on how to sanitise the tomatoes business in the Accra metropolis.
She cited an instance where Dr. Vanderpuije threw them away from his residence at Asylum Down near the Tigo headquarters in Accra when the association went to inform him of what was going on at CMB and Accra Breweries markets.
“It is common knowledge that all tomato sellers and other agro traders have been ejected from operating along the NIB Bank-Accra Breweries stretch. Unfortunately, some have returned under the watch of the AMA, and are degrading the area once again.
“…with the excuse that they are not making good sales at the new site allocated to them by the AMA behind the Accra Breweries. This fact is known to the mayor, including the fact that the breweries have even protested the presence of the women along the stretch,” a member of GNTTTA, Mrs. Doris Apenuvor, told this reporter during the interview.
“Unfortunately, some of our colleagues, together with agents of the AMA, for the purpose of personal gains, messed up the arrangement. And since then, we have been subjecting the members to series of problems which have affected their business,” she added.
Mrs. Apenuvor appealed to President John Dramani Mahama to, as a matter of urgency, intervene and ensure that the MOTI directives of sanitising the tomatoes business were followed to the letter.
According to her, the intervention of President Mahama will save the tomato traders from making huge financial losses.
Meanwhile, when Today contacted the AMA boss on Monday, July 13, 2015 for his reactions, he dismissed all the allegations levelled against him by the leadership of GNTTTA, saying that it was a calculated attempt by the association to discredit his office.
According to Dr. Vanderpuije, he had in several occasions held meetings with the leadership of the association to discuss how to put in place effective working mechanisms to improve upon the tomato business in the Accra metropolis.
|Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are those of the writers and do not reflect those of Peacefmonline.com. Peacefmonline.com accepts no responsibility legal or otherwise for their accuracy of content. Please report any inappropriate content to us, and we will evaluate it as a matter of priority.|