President Akufo Addo has announced new plans to revamp the country’s railway sector starting the next few months.
According to the President, the move will involve the construction of new railway lines and the extension of some existing lines to facilitate movement of passengers and goods.
Mr. Akufo Addo made the disclosure when he presented the State of the Nation Address to Parliament on Thursday, February 8, 2018.
In his view, a modern and reliable network of roads, railway and airport will transform the country.
“We are in the final stages of agreeing with a significant investor, the terms of a Build, Operate & Transfer (BOT) agreement from Takoradi to Kumasi which will be presented to Parliament this year. There is already a contractor onsite for the construction of the Kojokrom to Menso section of the Takoradi to Kumasi railway,” the President told Legislators.
The development of the rail infrastructure has been one of the critical issues on the agenda of the NPP administration.
The persistent issues of unpaid arrears have led to the halt in operations intermittently.
But the sector Minister, Joe Ghartey has commenced processes to settle all outstanding debts and attract new investors for the sector.
Parliament approves GH¢200m tax waiver for railway lines
The President’s announcement also comes at a time that Parliament has approved about 200 million cedis in tax waivers for the construction of an 84 kilometer multi-modal railway line between Tema and Akosombo.
When completed, the railway project will facilitate movement from Tema to Buipe through Akosombo.
Citi Business News is also learning that the rail line comprises rail stations between Tema and Akosombo and the construction of railway heads at Tema and Akosombo.
Meanwhile, the President maintains that the government is engaging consultants on the proposed railway line between Kumasi and Paga.
“The process has also commenced to select a suitable partner for the construction of the eastern line from Accra to Tema to Kumasi; we aim to break grounds this year. A central spine from Kumasi to Paga is also receiving attention and consultants have been engaged to advise government on the best model for the development of the line,” he added.
Ghana-Burkina Faso rail line to complete by 2018 3rd quarter
Commenting on the progress of work on the Ghana Burkina Faso railway line, Nana Akufo Addo was confident of completing the process by the end of the year.
“With reference to the Ghana Burkina Faso rail interconnectivity, the two countries are in earnest discussions as to the realisation of the project. There are fortnightly meetings either in Accra or Ouagadougou and we are confident that the deliberations will conclude and actual construction will commence by the third quarter of the year,” he stressed.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana