Market queens want inclusion in budget discussion

kaneshie_marketThe Takoradi Market Circle Queens have asked the government of Ghana to include them in the discussion build up to drafting the national budget.

According to them this will help them to understand the issues in the budget so they can also make useful inputs into the budget.

Speaking to this reporter during a field assessment of the level of understanding of issues in the budget organized by the Institute of Financial and Economic Journalists (IFEJ) with support from Star Ghana, the Deputy Market Queen of Takoradi Market Circle, Theresa Cobbinah complained that, “we have heard about the budget but do not know what it entails. We want government to meet us and explain the issues in the budget to us. It has never happened. When they explain to us we will understand and make inputs.”

According to the 79-year-old woman, their business is not doing well though they pay taxes.

“We can’t say we will not pay taxes because government argues that it uses it for development projects in the country,” she said.

With the oil find, economic activities in Takoradi is expected to pick up.

“We have also heard of oil but we don’t see any sign that oil is really drilled on our coast. Because our children do not get the opportunity to work with these oil companies. If this is really an oil town, then we want to see a lot of people around and it must translate in increased sales but rather our sales has dwindled. The school fees are high. We have complained but nothing has been done to ease our plight,” she lamented.

“Expatriates have complained that our market is filthy, that is why they don’t buy from us,” Madam Cobbinah said.

On her part, the Market Queen for Mango and Oranges at the market, a 52-year-old Mary Mensah said, she has heard about the budget but believes it is not good for government to read budget annually because it affects drivers and prices and transport fares which invariably affects the market women.

“We have heard about the oil sector but our children and husbands are not employed by the sector. We just hear about the activities of the oil sector but are not directly involved or employed,” she lamented.

According to her, interests on loans are high and loans promised by the government have not been released yet.

The Takoradi Market Circle is the commercial and economic hub of Ghana’s Western Region. The market got its name from the large circle in which it is situated; the stores of the market were built to form the shape.

The market was planned and built by city engineers to form the nucleus of trading activities for the new Takoradi city. The city became bustling after the building of the Takoradi Habour, which served as a major export centre for Ghana after the Tema Harbour. Because of the high export activity, many people migrated to the city for employment and this increase warranted the setting up of the market.

The market’s site makes it probably the most accessible point in the whole of the Takoradi metropolis.

By Pascal Kelvin Kudiabor

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