The Director General of the National Social Security and Insurance Trust (NASSIT), Mohamed Fuaad Daboh, has announced that the Sewa Grounds Market is on track to be completed by the end of 2023. Speaking during a site inspection at the facility with the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Alpha Sesay on Saturday, September 30, 2023, Daboh expressed his satisfaction with the progress made by NASSIT and the contractors.
Daboh mentioned that while the initial deadline for the market’s completion was set for November 2023, certain unforeseen circumstances arose. As a result, NASSIT will be holding a meeting with the contractors to reassess the timeline. Nevertheless, based on the current level of work, he believes the market will be finished before the year’s end, provided successful negotiations with the contractors.
The completion of the Sewa Grounds Market is expected to significantly reduce street trading in the country’s capital, Freetown.
On his part, the Project Manager at NASSIT, Arc. Abel Onomake, said the Sewa Grounds Project, initiated in 2014, is a joint effort between NASSIT and the Freetown City Council (FCC) with an aim to redevelop the market into a modern trading space that can accommodate over 6,000 traders and customers daily.
He stated that the market encompasses seven lots, including open market stalls, a new toilet block, a warehouse block, site development works, a support facility block, upscale lockup shops, and the Herbert Williams Building (Upscale Annex Building).
Among the various components of the project, the Open Market Stalls (Lot 1) involve the completion of a three-floor reinforced concrete building with approximately 1,244 market stalls. The Proposed Toilet Block (Lot 2) is a two-floor structure with separate sections for male and female users. Lastly, the Herbert Williams Building (Upscale Annex Building) includes approximately 100 lockable shop spaces and requires significant rehabilitation work.
The completion of the Sewa Grounds Market is a significant step in enhancing trading conditions and curbing informal street trading in Freetown.