General News of Thursday, 20 December 2018
President Nana Akufo-Addo has admitted that the country is faced with the challenge of bad roads but says it is not a new discovery.
The president has however; assured Ghanaians he will put in the needed measures to repair all the major poor roads in the country.
In his opening address at his media encounter on Wednesday December 19, 2018, the president said his regional tour has helped him to have first hand information on some of the challenges confronting us, he said ‘’…going around the country means thatI know at first hand that many of our roads are in a bad state. But that is nota new discovery to me, the distressing deficit in our infrastructure has been a running sore for our country for ages, despite the invisible, unprecedented infrastructural developments of yesteryear.
I know that we need to open up our country, build roads, bridges, airports, railways and make it easy for the people and goods to move around. This infrastructure deficit poses the biggest challenge in trying to deal with our development needs. I am glad to be able to report that we have started on a comprehensive programme to tackle this problem.’’
On Railways he said: ”…we are resurrecting the railways. The existing narrow-gauge network, which had almost disappeared, and led to a generation of youngGhanaians hardly knowing about railways, is coming alive. Rehabilitation work on the fifty-six (56) kilometre narrow gauge line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta is nearing completion. This will lead to the restoration of passenger rail services from Tarkwa to Takoradi for the first time since 2007.
The freight service from the manganese mine at Nsuta to Takoradi is in operation,and the ongoing rehabilitation has also led to a spectacular reduction in the number of derailments and incidents that occur on the line.
When I went to see the works on the railway lines for myself, I was particularlytouched by the enthusiasm of the workers. The Ghana Railway Company Limited,with its own workforce, started rehabilitation works on the seventy point eight(70.8) kilometre narrow gauge section of the Eastern Railway Line from Accra toNsawam and Accra to Tema. They did not have or need any foreign experts,so-called, they had the expertise, and those who did not were ready to learn,and they certainly had enough enthusiasm to carry them through.”
He continued: ”Rehabilitation of the Achimota to Tema section of the Line is approximately ninety percent(90%) complete, and test runs have commenced. Work is ongoing on the Achimota to Accra Central section of the line and the Achimota to Nsawam section, and I have been assured that this will be completed before the end of the year.
Ten (10) existing passenger coaches have also been refurbished, ready to be pressed into action when commuter services re-open on this line.
We are not only rehabilitating the old narrow-gauge line. I am happy to report that the procurement process is far advanced to develop a new standard gauge line for the Eastern Railway Line and others for us to have a network that covers the whole country.