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Ghana Railways Co. refutes $10m payment claim by Ghana Manganese Co.

Ghana Railways Company responded to the claims by Benjamin Atsu Quarshie on Thursday

The Ghana Railways Company Limited has vehemently refuted claims by the Ghana Manganese Company that it has given a sum of $10 million to the Railways Development Ministry for rehabilitation works on the Kojokrom to Tarkwa narrow gauge rail line in the Western Region.

Deputy Managing Director of the Ghana Railways Company Limited in charge of Engineering Dr. Eng. Michael Anyetei challenged the manganese company to provide proof of payment of the $10 million.

On August 23, 2017, a contract of $10 million was signed between the Ghana Railways Company Limited, the China Tianyuan Manganese Limited, the Consolidated Minerals Limited and the Ghana Manganese Company.

The objective of the contract was for the money to be used to rehabilitate parts of the Western Rail line, which has suffered significant deterioration thereby affecting haulage of manganese and other goods.

In the contract, $4.55 million was earmarked for employee funds while $350,000 was for operational funds.

The remaining $5.1 million dollars was for rehabilitation works.

The $4.9 million for the operational and employee funds have since been disbursed to the Ghana Railways Company Limited.

Ghana Manganese Company went ahead to sign a different contract with another company, Holdtrade Limited, for the rehabilitation works of which the $5.1 million, out of the total contract sum of $10 million, had been apportioned for.

On a tour by the Parliamentary Select Committee on Mines to the Ghana Manganese Company at Nsuta in the Tarkwa Nsueam Municipal Assembly, Chief Operations Officer Benjamin Atsu Quarshie told the Committee that the company gave government $10 million to support the rehabilitation efforts of the railway line.

“Unfortunately, till date, nothing concrete has been done to justify that expenditure,” Mr. Atsu Quarshie told the Committee.

But addressing a press conference on Thursday, a Deputy Managing Director of Ghana Railways Company Limited, Dr. Eng. Michael Anyetei, described the comments by Mr. Atsu Quarshie as “mischievous and unguarded” since they are at variance with the facts in the contract which “you are fully aware”.

“Mr. Atsu Quarshie himself is part of the committee for the rehabilitation committee and he is well aware that we [Ghana Railways Company Limited] have received only $4.9 million. And that is what according to the contract we are supposed to receive and for a specific purpose.”

He added: “Mr. Atsu Quarshie is aware that there are incontrovertible documents to show how we have spent our $4.9 million of which expenditure falls within the dictates of the $10 million contract”.

“If there is anyone who should account for anything, it is Ghana Manganese Company that has to account for what the remaining $5.1 million has been used for.”

Eng. Michael Anyetei stated that a greater part of the rehabilitation works on the narrow gauge from Kojokrom to Tarkwa were done with funds from Government of Ghana totaling over GH¢30 million.

“We raised issues with the works of Holdtrade Limited the company GMC contracted to carry out the rehabilitation works. The contract was abrogated. We could not wait because the re-awarding of the contract was delaying because we needed to continue with our haulage. So, we approached government to help us rehabilitate the lines.

“We took over the rehabilitation in 2019. So far, we have changed about 35,000 wooden sleepers. We have spread 25,000 cubic meters of ballast across the entire corridor. We have engaged over 300 workers for the works. All of these facilitated the test run from Takoradi to Tarkwa on 17 September, 2019.”

By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Western Region, Ghana

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