The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has assured that before the end of President Akufo-Addo’s mandate in 2020, the rehabilitation and construction of the Western rail line would be completed.
This, according to the Essikado-Ketan MP, is in fulfilment of the pledge made by President Akufo-Addo and captured in the New Patriotic Party’s manifesto of 2016.
The Minister for Railways Development revealed that over 200 companies so far, from countries like the United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, China and Ghana have shown interest in the development of Ghana’s railways, and have submitted proposals to this effect.
The selection of the companies who will undertake the rehabilitation and construction of the Western rail line, Mr Ghartey added, will be done in accordance with the tenets of competitive bidding to ensure value-for-money.
“We have already started the design of the Western Rail line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa. The transportation of bauxite from Awaso has been incorporated into the design,” he added.
Joe Ghartey made this known on Monday, August 7, when he addressed a durbar of Chiefs and people at Bibiani held in honour of the President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the commencement of his 3-day tour of the Western Region.
The Minister for Railways noted that one of the tragedies of Ghana’s post-colonial development was the neglect of the country’s railways.
“One of the things our country should have focused on was the development of its railway. Railways bring jobs, development, and uplifts communities. Ghana’s railway system has collapsed,” he said.
The Minister continued, “President Akufo-Addo, through the establishment of the Ministry of Railways Development, has indicated that he wants to revive the railway sector and has put persons from the Western Region to take charge of it. We will not disappoint. We will surely deliver”.
It will be recalled that in the 2016 Manifesto of the NPP, the party pledged to “develop a modern railway network with strong economic linkages. The Western and Eastern Lines will be completely overhauled. This will facilitate the haulage of bauxite, manganese, cocoa, cement, iron ore and other bulk commodities as well as the transportation of people.”