Business News of Wednesday, 22 February 2017
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has revealed that, the Takoradi – Paga rail line campaign promise will begin this year, by his administration.
The rail line is expected to connect the southern part of the country to the north and create jobs, according to the President.
In his first State of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo said, “Mr. Speaker, the Takoradi to Paga railway, connecting the Eastern and Western corridors, will be initiated this year to open up our country and provide access to our landlocked neighbours. It will also provide a lot of jobs.”
He added: “We are confident that, through these interventions, significant job opportunities will be opened to Ghanaians across the country.”
The revamping of the rail network in the country, President Akufo-Addo said, will open up the economy and provide access to the country’s landlocked transit trade partners like, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
The President’s announcements come after his Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey during his vetting, told the Parliament’s Appointment Committee that, even before he assumed office, there were private investors who have showed interest, in partnering government on rehabilitating and expanding rail network from the south to the north.
“Investors are queuing to partner government in the rehabilitation and expansion of the country’s rail network from the south to Paga in the Upper East Region, following a bold attempt by the Akufo-Addo-led administration to transform the sector.”
The Minister further stated that, Ghana’s dream of economic transformation will only materialize if government focuses on expanding the railway sector.
“From Kumasi to Buipe forms the bread basket of this nation, we are convinced beyond doubt that if this line is developed, the price of foodstuffs, the economic benefits will be unimaginable. Mr Chairman, fuel is 50% less if it is carried by rail. Cocoa is 25% less if it is carried by rail,” he said.
Joe Ghartey said, a revamping of the railway sector, will improve the lives of Ghanaians and productivity, by reducing the stress people go through using congested roads, as they are forced to spend several hours in traffic