The money would be used to pay compensation to the affected workers but the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Takoradi, Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah has described government’s intention as misplaced.
The MP, who revealed this, told DAILY GUIDE that government should rather invest that money into the railway sector and motivate the workers, who are to be retrenched, to work hard to achieve its dream of extending railway from the south to the north.
‘The railway sector is dying and if the government wants to revive it why should it compound the problem by laying off 80 percent of the workers,’ he queried.
He said the NDC government must show commitment to reviving the railway sector by investing more money into the sector.
‘I remember the NPP government under President Kufuor allocated $90 million of the EURO bond to the development of the railway sector and some of that money was used to procure some wagons to cart manganese from Nsuta to Takoradi,’ he indicated, stressing that the railway sector is gradually collapsing under the NDC government.
According to the MP, most of the railway services in the Western region, seen as the hub of railway activities, have grinded to a halt.
‘Now haulage trucks are carting bauxite from Awaso to Takoradi instead of rail line and this is contributing to the fast deterioration of the roads in that area’
On the Takoradi harbour, the MP asked government to expand the wharf to accommodate more load.
He also suggested to the government to make Takoradi the new growth pole in the country as a result of the oil find in the region by relocating the headquarters of some strategic oil institutions such as the Petroleum Commission and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) to Takoradi so that investors could easily come to the Western region and invest.
‘The United Kingdom (UK) has made Aberdeen its oil capital and all investments are being shifted there while in Norway, a similar thing has been done to help spread development in those oil countries,’ he noted.
By Thomas Fosu Jnr