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18
Mon, Dec

$21.5bn needed for railway infrastructure development

The Ministry of Railways Development will require $21.5 billion to build a robust railway infrastructure in the country. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2020, includes the revamping of the Western, Eastern and Central Railway lines covering a distance of 4,007 kilometres.

The sector Minister, Mr Joe Ghartey, who made this known, said it would cost $1.8 billion to revamp the Western line, whereas $1.6 billion and $3.3 billion would be used for the Eastern and the Central lines, respectively.

“This, when completed, will connect the major cities such as Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale to the rest of the country,” he explained.

He was speaking at the maiden Ghana Consulting Engineers Association (GCEA) Week celebration in Accra last Wednesday.

It was on the theme: “The role of consulting engineers and the development agenda of Ghana”.

Read also: Swine Flu named in KUMACA students death

Transaction advisors

Mr Ghartey said the ministry would use the services of local transaction advisors to offer technical advice and the funding model to adopt.

“The ministry will not invest such a huge amount in the sector without considering local industry players on a quality and capacity-based approach. Therefore, we support the call for a local inclusion policy on any investment made in the country,” he stated.

Project

The project, which forms part of the Ghana Railway Master Plan, Mr Ghartey explained, would create jobs, facilitate trade and industrial development and stimulate economic growth.

“In the process, new towns and cities will be created and older towns will be revitalised under the ministry’s flagship programme: ‘from-station-to-cities’,” he added.

He explained that the Western Line, for instance, would improve transportation issues, such as transporting manganese from Nsuta to the port of Takoradi, adding that that would take the burden off the road network and ensure longer lifespans for newly constructed roads.

Strengthen collaboration

For his part, the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Adjei Sowah, called on relevant stakeholders to collaborate with the AMA to ensure that appropriate structures and environmental policies were developed to ensure safety in the city.