President Akufo-Addo, has reiterated his Government’s commitment to building a first class railway network in Ghana in order to revamp the sector which has deteriorated over the years since colonial rule ended in Ghana.
Addressing workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) at the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) workshop shed in Tema as part of the last day of his three day tour of the Greater Accra Region, President Akufo-Addo said a lot has gone wrong in the country after independence, but one of the worst is to have allowed the nation’s railway infrastructure to deteriorate.
According to him, “The British left us a functioning railway system, we didn’t look after it, and we allowed it to deteriorate. For this part of the twenty first century, a major responsibility is on you, on me, my successors, to rebuild the railway infrastructure in our country.
“It is obvious that rail transport is environmentally friendly, it is efficient, it is less costly and it is generally a more intelligent way of moving people and goods than any other form of transport. Other people have got first class railway systems in the world, Ghana we are going to have a first class railway system in our country” President Akufo-Addo added.
For his part, the Minister responsible for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, in his remarks noted that by 2023, Ghana must have a viable railway sector that will meet the transportation needs of the citizenry.
He further indicated that over ten (10) coaches which were to be scrapped were rehabilitated in the workshop where the gathering was being held by the hard working GRCL workers.
“In 2016, over hundred coaches were sold as scrap. In 2017 we decided that we would review the policy of selling coaches as scrap and we will see whether it is possible to refurbish some of the coaches. A brand new coach Mr. President cost about five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000.00), the cost of refurbishing is about fifty thousand dollars ($50, 000.00). Out of the twenty seven (27) coaches that were left after over hundred were sold as scrap, we have repaired ten (10)” the Railway Minister said.
Furthermore, President Akufo-Addo commended the staff of GRCL for their efforts at refurbishing the country’s old coaches instead of the previous policy of selling them off as scrap.
“I am very impressed to hear that the old policy of selling coaches as scrap has been itself scrapped and that this new policy of repairing our coach stock has already produced such positive results” President Akufo-Addo said.