An aspiring Chairman in the impending elections by unionized traders associations at Abossey okai, under the umbrella name Abossey Okai Spare Parts Association, Samuel Siaw Ampadu has promised to modernize the largest vehicle parts hub in the country and instill discipline into how businesses are conducted if he emerges the winner.
Abossey Okai is well-known all over the world as a hub for auto spare parts [new and used] in Ghana. Currently, Abossey Okai has more than 5,000 shops and stalls being managed by over 30,000 traders.
Parts that are commonly sold there include engines, pistons, brake pads, lights, bumper, doors, spark plugs, ignition switch, radiators, windshields, mirrors, rims, fan belts and camshaft.
Most of the traders at Abossey Okai are also members of the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA), a union that contributes some significant percentage to Ghana’s GDP.
Unfortunately, the spare parts ‘headquarters in Ghana’ is pregnant with several challenges from time immemorial and this is what Mr. Siaw Ampadu, a.k.a Akonta is seeking the mandate of his colleague traders to address.
Lack of discipline, improper sanitary condition, theft, poor road network are few of the challenges, Mr. Siaw Ampadu enumerated. Capitalizing on his slogan “ye nim wo fre titi” which is loosely translated as ‘being known dating years back’, he said in his policy statement that he will ensure these and many other challenges are eliminated.
This is the first time smaller unions within the hub are coming together to form one association – Abossey Okai Spare Part Association – and elect executives to steer it affairs. Though they are yet to fix date for the election, it will be held by the end of October 2016.
Read below the full statement
From history, Abossey Okai does not have an umbrella body to fight for our course. Abossey Okai Spare Parts Association, Association of Used Auto Parts Dealers and Table Top Dealers Association are associations which have entrenched position and history. Meanwhile, there are thousands of traders that do not belong to any of the associations. These are what we call the ‘goro boys’ with all their attendant problems. These groups clearly show the lack of unity within the rank and file of our people.
It is in line with this that Sammy Siaw Ampadu [Akonta] when elected as the chairman will initiate the following:
- Customer care service
- Road network
Unity they say is strength. Like the old adage, ‘when one broom is taken, it is easy to break but when a bunch of broom is taken, no amount of energy can break it’. This indicates unity is strength. It is in line with this that when elected as Chairman, my team and I will work to bring all the sprinter groups of Abossey Okai under the association.
We shall make sure all the groups are given the needed recognition by working with them all to ensure the progress of our various businesses.
Discipline is the hallmark of every business but this does not exist in Abossey Okai. Currently, spare parts dealers do whatever they want but with me as the chairman and my team, we shall ensure discipline among members. Customers are sometimes cheated and this send bad signals to others. Due to this, we shall institute a policy that will prevent members from cheating on their customers.
Again, we shall provide Identity Cards (ID cards) for all the members. This will help customers identify those they buy from or sell to which will enable easy identification.
Another major challenge is what we call “the goro boys” who sometimes dupe or cheat these customers and we shall work to do away with them and make sure they all join the union.
Every member and customers will agree with me that, one of the challenges facing Abossey Okai is poor sanitary condition in the area and I with my team shall solve the problem with short and long term measures.
- Short term
We shall provide dust bins to every shop and corners so that indiscriminate dumping of refuse will be minimized
We shall liaise with the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) and waste management companies to ensure regular lifting of refuse
We shall introduce pay-as-you-go service in refuse collection where those who dump refuse pay the moment they dump to avoid the system where the containers will be full but there will be no money to hire a truck to lift them
- Long term
We shall levy every member so that the association can purchase it’s own truck that will lift refuse
We shall acquire logistics such as wheel barrows, shovels, among others for the collection of refuse
We shall organize quarterly educational programmes for members on the spare parts business
We shall organize entrepreneurial training for members on other businesses and opportunities for them to become big time business men and women
- Customer care service
Customers when they are cheated and buy ‘fake’ parts do not know who or where to go to seek redress. Again, they do not know who or where to report to whenever they are dissatisfied about the service or sale or purchase of goods.
This is disgracing the spare parts business. Due to this, I and my team will open a Complain Office where reports of such nature can be reported for prompt action to be taken.
Members will agree with me that there have been several complains of pilfering and scratching of cars of either members or customers. We shall therefore establish a security taskforce that will patrol the area day and night to protect vehicles of both customers and members. They will also protect our shops during the nights and weekends (Sunday) when we are not around.
Again, street lights will be installed to ensure the place is always clear to avoid people from stealing or indulge in dubious deeds.
We shall liaise with the Ghana National Fire Service to establish a Fire Service Post in Abossey-Okai to be able to respond to any fire eventuality.
We shall also liaise with the Ghana Police Service to establish a police post in Abossey Okai.
Abossey Okai can boast of one of the best lay-outs in the city yet most of them are not tarred. Members and customers will agree with me that coming to Abossey Okai is difficult during raining season. Apart from this, dust is the order of the day when there is no rain due to the poor nature of the roads. But I and my team will liaise with the authorities such as the AMA, Urban Roads and Member of Parliament (MP) to ensure these roads in the area are constructed
It is a fact that every association such as ours are run with dues of members. Due to this, dues from members will be invested and accountability will be the hallmark of the investment.
I, Siaw Ampadu, a.k.a Akonta “ye nim wo fre titi” is willing and ready to work to ensure the success and development of Abossey-Okai Spare Parts business and the Association.
I entreat you all to elect me as the Chairman of this noble Association and I promise to execute all the things I have enumerated.
Long live Abossey-Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association
Long live all members
Long live Ghana
God Bless Us All
By Kweku Antwi-Otoo/Onua 95.1FM/3news.com