Traders at the Okaishie Market, one of the busiest centers in Accra, have indicated that landlords and shop owners collect huge amounts of money from them in order to operate in the area.
Investigations conducted by CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE at Okaishie revealed that one needs to pay GH˘50,000 as goodwill for 10 years and an additional GH˘100 a month so as to obtain a store at Okaishie.
Dennis Kwaku Owusu, a trader at the market, in an interview with this paper, explained that the situation had compelled landlords and shop owners to charge abnormally.
Mr. Owusu disclosed that occupant at market, who delay in renewing their contracts, lose their shops, adding that traders have to be financially sound all the time to retain their shops at Okaishie.
There are two ways in which traders can obtain stores in the market; directly from the landlords or through third parties or agents, he said.
According to him, traders, who do not deal directly with landlords or shop owners, face a lot of challenges since third parties rent out the shops at exorbitant prices.
Mr. Owusu said he paid an initial amount of GH˘50,000 to the landlord to cover a 19-year deal, stressing that he pays GH˘100 on a monthly basis.
He added that the traders, who deal with third parties, often pay twice the original fee.
John Asante, another trader, said educated traders who have some experience in marketing, study the location and what the other traders around sell in order to make profits.
Baaba Mandoh Eshun, who sells human hair at the Okaishie market, indicated that the huge amounts of money landlords and shop owners charge pose serious challenges to traders.
She said she secured the store from some three women who contributed to pay the rent.
“I pay GH˘500 a month to the ladies since I didn’t have the money to deal with the landlords and shop owners directly.
A number of traders are also facing this problem, at times one gets the exact GH˘500 a month but you have no choice than to pay it out as was agreed upon. When activities are dull at the market, you can only make GH˘200 monthly. All they need is the money,” she said.
She therefore called on government to put measures in place to construct many shops at affordable prices in order to help them sustain their businesses.
“There is the need for government to put up modern stores that are reasonably priced in a marketable environment to help us since this is what we do to take care of our children and also contribute our quota to national development,” she noted.