The Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has disclosed that the 97km eastern route rail line from Tema to Mpakadan is 60% complete.
The percentage of completion, according to him, is based on the interim payment certificates which have been passed by consultants of the project. “They have passed 24 Interim payment certificates so far, and the certificates are based on the work that has been done so far,” he said.
The minister said government is working assiduously to ensure the eastern rail line is completed to achieve its intended purpose.
Speaking on Eye on Port’s live interactive programme on Metro TV, he revealed each of the railway lines that are being constructed in the country are economically viable.
“When you are thinking development, you don’t think short-term view; you don’t think for now,” he said.
Joe Ghartey, who is also the Member of Parliament for Essicado-Ketan, assured workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited who haven’t been paid for some months now that they will soon be paid.
“Ghana Railway Company Limited earns its money from manganese, and what happened was that the manganese company didn’t operate for some time. Government is giving it a cash injection that will cover all the company’s expenses up to next year March. The money will hit the account next week,” he assured.
He entreated workers of the company to always endeavour to give their best in discharging their duties.
“It is not free money, and I trust that they will respect government’s good intentions for the sector and also improve their delivery, and I have confidence in them,” he said.
The minister revealed that several investors have expressed interest in the Aflao to Elubo rail line. “The longest train in the world is run by Transnet in South Africa, which is 4 kilometres; they use it for manganese and it’s a narrow gauge line,” he said.
“So when we came (to power) we didn’t fall asleep; we entered into a contract with Ghana Manganese and said we would rehabilitate the narrow gauge line and use it to pull manganese. In December last year, Ghana Railway Company Limited signed a contract with Transnet to pull 50% of the manganese through rail,” he hinted.