The Ghana Trade Fair Company Ltd, (GTFCL) says it is sticking to the 2022 deadline for the completion of the redevelopment project despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
This was after an Appeal Court dismissed a contempt case against the Chief Executive and Chairman of the company for demolishing structure used as business premises by previous occupants of the trade fair site.
The Court of Appeal on Monday 8 June 2020, dismissed the case indicating that the tenants had not proved “beyond a reasonable doubt” that the chairman and chief executive officer of GTFCL had committed contempt as alleged.
Speaking to JoyBusiness after the ruling, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Trade Fair company Dr Agnes Adu described the ruling as good news.
“I’m happy that the court ruled in our favour, what it means for the project is that, now the project can fully go ahead. We are still on the demolition stage of the project so anything that stalls the project or any court action that we can deal with successfully, it means that the project can now successfully move ahead,” she stated.
Touching on plans to complete the project by 2022, Dr Agnes Adu said, although the coronavirus pandemic has affected its schedule, the company is sticking to the 2022 deadline.
Dr Adu added, “You know the globe has come to a standstill. What this Covid pandemic means to the global economy is that it has slowed everything down so undoubtedly this project will be affected. A lot of your investors and interested developers who have come on board and even are getting ready to come on board have halted.”
“Clearly, they cannot travel into the country and even the way that the global economy has been hit hard, a lot of investors have to think twice about bringing onboard new investors but with that said, we are still sticking to our 2022 deadline to at least finish the convention and exhibition centre which we think we can still meet. We may be a quarter or half behind schedule but we are sure of meeting the 2022 deadline.”
She said even though the company will have some setbacks, a lot of the processes regarding the project are still ongoing adding some of the discussions with investors and development are being done virtually.
COST OF PROJECT
Currently, about 20 structures belonging to different companies have been demolished to pave way for construction to begin.
The three to five-year project will be carried out in three phases with phase one expected to include the development of a 12,000-seater trade convention centre, Modern hotels and retail shops.
The government has budgeted $2 billion for the project.