|Mayor of Tamale|
The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly is progressively spreading several economic infrastructural developments across the metropolis with the construction of new modern markets on top of the agenda, to stimulate economic growth and also rebrand Tamale as the true gateway to the Sahel region.
The Mayor of Tamale, Abdul-Rahman Hanan Gundadow who is spearheading these initiatives with the aim of opening up the city or equitably spreading development projects across the various communities within the metropolis, has also succeeded in initiating a number of projects to improving quality education, healthcare delivery, agriculture, road network and ultimately the socio-economic activities of the people.
He is also adopting several strategies to transforming the Tamale Metropolis into an industrial hub in the Sahel region. At the recent Assembly’s Ordinary Meeting, the Mayor unveiled plans to set up “a light industrial area” for agro processing firms to move into the metropolis in order to fully maximize the economic opportunities of the upcoming Tamale International Airport.
The establishment of the light industrial area is meant for the processing of completely or semi-finished products for export or for distribution in the domestic market. The Tamale Metropolitan Assembly has already acquired 200 acres of land at Datoyili, a suburb of Tamale for free of charge to start the project.
In the Mayor’s estimation, the strategic location of Tamale makes it easier for people in the Brong Ahafo, Upper West and Upper East Regions to move their goods or agricultural produce to Tamale, process and package them and then move them finally to the Tamale International Airport for exporting.
Currently, the Tamale Metro Assembly led by Mr. Hanan Gundadow is simultaneously constructing almost seven (7) new markets at vantage areas to improve business or economic activities of the people.
At the Aboabo Market, the Assembly has committed over GHC8.2 million to complete a super market complex project which was started by the Acheampong’s government in the 1970s, but was abandoned under successive regimes.
The two storey project when completed would have not less than 180 market stores, toilet and urinals, banking hall and restaurants among others.
Another two storey market project is being constructed at the Central Business District (Central Market) at the cost of GHC1,093,979.00, which is also expected to have 120 market stores, canteen, banking hall and mosque.
The Assembly is again rehabilitating and expanding the Lamashegu Market at the total cost of GHC363,985.36 which will also have about 20 stores and another one at Kakpalyili at the cost of GHC440,595.90.
One other market project which was abandoned by the erstwhile Kufuor’s administration is also under construction at Kukuo to serve as temporal structure for the sheanuts dealers who are being moved from the under construction Aboabo market. The Kukuo market site was taken over by weeds, and haven for cattle, robbers and prostitutes.
Speaking in an interview with SDavannahnews, the Chairman of the Development Planning Sub-Committee of the Tamale Metro Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Abudu during an inspection tour of the market projects to assess the level of progress, described the Tamale Mayor, Hanan Gundadow as “creative thinker and one of the progressive chief executives the city has ever had”.
According to him, even though some of the projects had been there for ages and it took the visionary leadership of the Mayor to work closely with the Development Planning Sub-Committee and vigorously implement the recommendations of the committee.
Hon Abudu was optimistic that the infrastructure would give the City a new facelift and also attract businesses and investors to move into the Metropolis. He also commended the contractors for the quality of works being executed.
On the other hand, the Mayor of Tamale, Hanan Gundadow indicated that the scope of development targeted by his administration required that the city authorities intensified the mobilization of the internal revenue (Internally Generated Funds) to serve as an appendage to the funds from the central government.
According to him, the assembly set an Internally Generated Fund (IGF) target of GHC1,130,899.91 for the year 2014, but had been able to impressively collect an amount of GHC605, 926.43 as at June 2014 representing 53.6%.
The Tamale Mayor blamed the various telecommunication companies operating in the metropolis including Vodafone, MTN, GLO, Expresso, Airtel and Tigo for thwarting the efforts of the assembly by failing to pay the approved Business Operating Permit Fee amounting to GHC119,560.00 and GHC200,000 for Property Rates.
Similarly, the Volta River Authority (VRA), NEDCo and GRIDCo are also owing the Assembly to the tune of GHC20,560.00 and GHC,91,000.00 for Business Operating Fee and Property Rate respectively.
The Assembly according to Mr. Hanan Gundadow had been allocated GHC2,779,434.96 from the District Assembly Common Fund for the 2014 fiscal year for the execution of their developmental projects.