Mr Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, the Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, on Wednesday launched a 190-page manual on operation and maintenance of markets in the country.
The manual is to guide Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) to carry out routine maintenance on markets to generate revenue and fulfill their functions.
It was produced by the Ministry in collaboration with German Development Cooperation.
Mr Ankrah decried the lack of maintenance culture in Ghana, saying it was one of the minuses of the country.
He said as a country, “we go to every length to raise taxes, secure loans and grants to invest in infrastructure such as roads, markets, schools but unashamedly, we fail or refuse to apply time and resources to undertake basic repairs or maintenance of such important facilities leaving them to deteriorate to complete disrepair”.
According to him, proper maintenance could cost an insignificant fraction of the original investment cost stressing that “a stitch in time save nine”.
The Deputy Minister said in line with the “Better Ghana” agenda, there was the need to factor into the design of all infrastructural projects a component for operations and maintenance as the surest way of guaranteeing that projects lasted their designed lifespan.
He commended the German government for providing the country with over 1,719 projects through the German Technical Cooperation.
He said the Ministry and the German Technical Cooperation developed the market operations and maintenance manual to enhance good guidance without compromising technical standards.
Mr Ankrah, therefore, urged district assemblies, market management committee members and stakeholders to incorporate infrastructure maintenance into planning and budgeting processes.
“When this is done, it will ensure that maintenance schedules are prepared, responsibilities for various tasks are assigned and the financial logistical resources are made available at the right time and at reasonable levels.
“We should also see this manual as an indispensable tool, which must be used to protect the huge investments in infrastructural facilities.”
Mr Opoku Boamah, Director of Planning Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation of the Ministry, said one of the challenges facing the MMDAs was revenue mobilisation.
Mr Boamah identified markets and lorry parks as some of the areas that could fetch reasonable revenue to assemblies and asked them to set up Markets Management Committees to maintain high standards and good value for investments made in markets.
He entreated district assemblies to also maintain markets to attract private investors.
Dr Volker Monikes, Programme Manager of Support for Decentralisation Programme (SfDR), which is under the German Development Cooperation, appealed to district assemblies to be financially autonomous so they could provide other facilities needed in their respective districts.