The Ghana Trade Fair Company says it is not under any obligation, per the rental contract it has with its tenants, to pay compensation to those whose structures were demolished for redevelopment.
According to the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Agnes Adu, most of the tenants were not even paying rent when she assumed office in 2017.
She reiterated that some of the tenants were owing electricity bills of over GHS300,000, which were more than six years old.
Twenty-seven firms that did not express interest in the redevelopment plan were demolished by the Trade Fair Company but Dr. Adu said she is not worried about certain assertions that her outfit was unfair to the tenants.
“Before I came in, there was an accumulation of arrears – rent, electricity – cumulatively, they owe GHS300,000 to ECG before I walked in… Of course, ECG is going to come in and disconnect. When ECG disconnected, he [Raymond Archer] had no choice but to go bring a power plant for his private business to be able to survive.
“I believe that since I wasn’t here, what I have been told by the previous management is that, maybe, some of the tenants saw that that plant was big enough to tap in, so, some of them connected to it and ran their business with it. But it was his indebtedness that wounded us in electric bills that were passed to us; so, he has to solve his own problem, he created a problem and then he solved it by himself and then he wants to blame the company [GTFC]”, said Dr Adu.
She explained further: “Compensation is law and not an entitlement. If you come in as a tenant, there are laws and covenants governing your tenancy; I want to address, specifically, what Mr Archer put out there that Trade Fair watched him put things there. Going back into the 1990s, this company became a company in 1997; all tenancy agreements – and I’ve abrogated 200 of them – had a master clause in them; in the master clause agreement, you are told not to build anything permanently. Your buildings will be demolished if Trade Fair’s master clause is to be implemented and there will not be any compensation.”
She pointed out that another notice has been dispatched to the tenants to remove their items to enable the redevelopment project to commence.