The Ghana Railway Development Authority with the Ministry of Transport has formulated a master plan aimed at revamping the almost dead railway sector.
Mrs. Joyce Mogtari, the Deputy Minister of Transport, said the plan sought to rehabilitate, modernise, and expand Ghana’s ailing rail network, thus recognising the economic benefits of rail transport.
Currently, out of the 947km track length, only 130km is operational with freight services as well as passenger service.
The Deputy Minister addressing the National Executive Council Meeting of the Railway Workers Union of the Trades Union Congress, said the government through its sole resources, was reconstructing the Takoradi/Sekondi via Kojokrom sub-urban lines to ease road traffic.
Mrs. Mogtari said due to the capital intensive nature of the rail line project, the government was looking at the Public Private Partnership approach, explaining that this alternative financing arrangements would ensure adequate investment in the provision and maintenance of various infrastructure and services.
The Minister announced an increment in the salaries of rail workers as a measure by the Government to alleviate some of their economic burdens.
She urged them: “Refrain from any activities that would worsen an already bad situation such as granting leases, selling of railway lands and assets”.
Mr. Godwill Ntarmah, General Secretary of the Union, said the history of Ghana’s economic development could not be written without the mention of the rail sector.
Also, he said, trains continued to play a pivotal role in the progress of most advanced countries and empahsised the need for the sector to be revived towards national economic growth.
Additionally, he said, rail transport was also cheaper to operate and more affordable.
Mr. Benjamin Amofa, Managing Director of the Rail way Authority, said the sector could be self-reliant with even 100,000 tonnes commodities and called for the immediate repair of lines and the appropriate investments into the sector.
Source : GNA