It has been established that the Melcom multi-storey shopping complex at Achimota in Accra, which collapsed today does not have the necessary building permit.
The Member of Parliament for Okaikoi South, Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, disclosed to Joy News that she has reliably been informed, when she enquired from the building inspector for the area, that the building has no permit.
The MP whose jurisdiction the building falls under wondered why the company was given permit to commence business in a building which has no permit.
She promised to take the issue up in Parliament when the House reconvened January next year.
“I spoke to the building inspector, to my surprise he is telling me they never gave permit for this building. And I asked him, if they didn’t, how come the building was put up until now and they have not done anything about it. Moreover, they have given them business operating permit to operate and they know they have not given permit to the building itself. So I told him that I am going to take them on as a Member of Parliament for the area.”
Madam Elizabeth Sackey asked the public not to always direct their attention and anger at politicians, but should at times focus them on technocrats who are directly responsible for such things “to sit up”.
The Mayor of Accra Metropolitan Assembly, Alfred Vanderpuye confirmed on Joy FM’s Top Story Wednesday, hours after the incident, that the six-storey building has no permit.
Mr Vanderpuye appealed to residents to ensure that they obtain the necessary permit for their buildings. He noted that most people put up structures without permit, and warned that they would severely be dealt with when caught. He said his outfit has been combing the city of Accra for the past two years finding building without permit, “but how we missed this one, we are going to find out”.
He said the owner of the building and the building inspector for the area have been summoned for a meeting tomorrow, and assured, “we will get to the bottom of it”. He denied having earlier knowledge of the fact that the building had no permit. He assured that the Assembly, together with the other rescuers, would do all it could to “ensure that every life in there would be saved”.
Meanwhile, President Mahama has tasked the rescue team to work throughout the night to ensure that persons trapped under are rescued. President John Dramani Mahama has given a strong indication that the person whose negligence caused the collapse of the shopping complex would be dealt with.
A member of the rescue team told Joy News 48 people were rescued as at 5:40pm and were sent to 37 Military Hospital, Korle Bu and Achimota hospitals. An official of the Melcom Group Limited said 55 people work in that building, but could not tell if they were all present when it collapsed on Wednesday morning. He said the shop was commissioned in January this year.
“We are doing everything possible to see that help reaches those who need it. Our heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies goes to the families of those who may have lost their lives,” the company wrote on facebook this morning.