The Chief Executive of Sekondi/Takoradi Metropolitan Assembly, Mr Anthony K. K. Sam, has deplored the current state of the metropolis and called for a complete reengineering.
The city currently is inundated with different forms of economic activities, which have resulted in congestion and made it difficult to manage basic traffic, environment and sanitation issues in an orderly manner.
At the first ordinary meeting of the assembly, Mr Sam said the metropolis had completely outgrown the original development plans put in place by the colonialists many years ago.
“Some of the buildings are now a nuisance and impede modern development. Spaces reserved for leisure and recreation have been taken over by unplanned developments,” he said.
He said it was sad that wetlands reserved as natural receptacles had been encroached upon and ceremonial streets were now flanked by temporary structures that had taken away the beauty of the metropolis.
The metropolis, Mr Sam said, would no doubt continue to grow in years to come and that the corresponding growing population could make the city prone to social and environmental decadence.
“It is time to redevelop the metropolis. We need to do this now to attract development, commerce and residents in order to create a quality urban environment that is a dynamic place to work, play and live and we cannot fail the people,” he said.
The government, the Metro Chief Executive said, had created the Ministry of Inner City Development, which would work with the assemblies and, therefore, underscored the need for the metropolis to position itself well to attract the needed support of the ministry.
Mr Sam said as a prelude to the redevelopment of the metropolis, “all unauthorised structures on ceremonial streets in the metropolis will be demolished.”
Bye laws on street hawking and other commercial activities, the chief executive said, would be enforced without fear or favour to bring sanity onto the streets of the metropolis.
The assembly, he said, had engaged consultants to redesign the city.
“We have all seen and made inputs to the work of the consultants and called for public suggestions. Investors are waiting to invest in the major projects and we need to hurry up with our plans. We would like to turn Airport Ridge, Beach Road, Windy Ridge, Essikado Ridge, Sekondi Ridge, European Town, Race Course, Mount Zion and Anaji Namibia into a modern city comparable to other cities,” he said.
For the public to buy into the idea, Mr Sam said the assembly would soon start engagement with the residents associations of those places ahead of an investors forum in July.
He said revenue still remained the blood of any modern city and that managers of the twin city were left with no option but to generate enough revenue to improve education, health and sanitation.
Mr Sam said in 2014 and 2015, the assembly achieved 99 per cent of its revenue targets and added that “what is important is to ensure that such revenue objectives are realistic and challenging targets set to rake in the needed income. Therefore, I am going to champion a revolutionary drive to increase revenues by 50 per cent by 2019.”
The assembly, he said, would achieve that by introducing modern technology into revenue generation and management in partnership with the private sector.
In 2017, Mr Sam said the assembly set itself a target to raise GH¢7,98 million and that as of the end of the first quarter of the year, the assembly collected GH¢2.3 million, representing 29.34 per cent.