Joe Ghartey, Minister for Railway Development, has given a two-month ultimatum to directors and staff of the Ghana Railway Company Limited to complete the Takoradi-Tarkwa rail line or maybe lose their jobs.
He pointed out that the assurances of getting the Takoradi-Tarkwa line completed two years ago have been reviewed, with some excuses such as technical and logistical constraints addressed.
“This challenge has been resolved and that there will not be any excuse if some substantial work is not done by end of September this year, in fulfilment of the October deadline,” he emphatically stated.
According to the minister, the company has been given some technical and logistical resources including increments in salary to motivate the workers to work assiduously for the rail lines to come into fruition.
“Government has so far put about GH¢105million into the Railway Company Limited. This amount has been used to purchase track, tools, slippers and employ more staff; we have employed about 300 more people; their salaries have just been increased by 20% and so they have no excuse; they will have to deliver for Ghanaians to know that the Western rail line is on track.” he added.
Mr. Ghartey gave the ultimatum when he inspected the Railway Workshop at Essikado in the Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolis of the Western Region.
He added: “We need a solid foundation for the railway sector and to improve upon businesses so as to promote the country’s socio-economic development”.
Dr. Michael Adjei Anyatei, Deputy Managing Director in charge of Engineering at the Ghana Railway Company Limited, in response to the proposition raised by the minister noted that some rigorous work will be pursued to meet the deadline.
“The minister has given us the deadline to make sure that the passenger service from Takoradi to Tarkwa is completed. We have to, we have no choice,” he answered.
He explained that delays on the rail line were as a result of engineering and calibration work that needs to be satisfied for the passenger freight.
He said: “We need to do a detailed work on the cross-levels to make sure that when you sit on the train you can ride comfortably.
“All we need to do is probably double up to meet the Railway Minister’s ultimatum.”