Minister for Railways Development John Peter Amewu has observed that the Akufo-Addo-led government’s unprecedented investment in the rail sector over the last four years is premised on its appreciation that the sector has the potential to contribute significantly to the development of the country.
“We are all aware of the impact of railways in our society, economic, social and employment. Job opportunities will open up if we are able to revamp the sector,” he stated.
In keeping with that appreciation, the Minister mentioned that upon assumption, government embarked on numerous projects in the sector, some of which are the largest investment in the sector since independence.
Under the Akufo-Addo-led administration, $500 million has been invested for the construction of a line from Takoradi Habour to Huni Valley.
When completed, in 42 months, the project will give a total of 102 kilometres of new standard gauge line and that “will be the largest single railway contract to be awarded in this country since independence”.
Government has also rehabilitated a section of the narrow-gauge Western line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta to facilitate the haulage of manganese from Nsuta to the Takoradi Port, and also to provide a passenger rail service along the same corridor.
Various contracts have also been signed for the construction of standard gauge railway lines which include sections of the Western line from Kumasi to Kaase, Kaase to Eduadin, Eduadin to Obuasi, among others.
Speaking at the Palace of the Omanhen of Essikadu during a courtesy call, Mr. Peter Amewu stated with regret that despite the glaring evidence of government’s commitment to lift the rail sector into a more viable entity, some people are thwarting the efforts by stealing some of the rails.
“One of the disturbing realities that is emerging is the stealing of some of our properties. It is disheartening enough to see that as we are constructing the railway lines, some recalcitrant elements within society are also stealing some old metals that we have. This cannot continue because it doesn’t give us the hope and the courage to go and do the job that we have been directed to do.”
He, therefore, called on the Omanhen and the regional authorities to put in place measures to stop the stealing within the sector.
Omanhen of Essikadu Nana Kobina Nketsiah V told stories about the role the railways played in the country’s struggle for independence, stressing that it is a national duty for the sector to be revamped.
“You cannot talk about Ghana’s independence and not talk about the railways. And not talk about the sacrifices and selflessness of the ex-workers who but for them we will still be under slavery. The revamping of the railways is a must. One of the most profound things that your predecessor did was to carry out the dream of keeping the railways school going. Please keep your support behind it.
The Minister for Railways Development, John Peter Amewu, is on a two-day working tour of the Western Region to keep pace with the activities within the sector.
His tour took him to the Railways School being run by the University of Mines and Technology (UMaT), where he interacted with the management of the school after which he toured the University to learn at first-hand what has been happening since academic work began.
He later held a durbar with railways workers at the famous ‘Bottom Tree’ at location in Essikadu.
By Eric Yaw Adjei|3news.com|Ghana