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xxxxxxxxxxx of Monday, 16 July 2018

Source: citinewsroom.com

Railways Development Minister Joe Ghartey tours Northern Region

The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has toured the Northern Region and reaffirmed government’s campaign promise to construct a railway line from Kumasi to Paga.

The governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), then in opposition, pledged to construct a railway line to link up Northern Ghana to the south.

The sector Minister, Joe Ghartey during a working visit to Tamale said plans were far advanced for the project’s commencement.

He paid courtesy calls on Sagnari Naa, Naa Yakubu Abdulai and the Gukpe Naa, Naa Alhassan Abdulai.

He explained that, “Under the railway development plan, the Kumasi to Paga railway line is the central spin and it is divided into two sections. That is Kumasi to Tamale and then Tamale to Paga.”

According to him Ghartey, government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company to develop the Kumasi to Tamale section.

“President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo has given a clear directive that the Kumasi to Tamale section of the line must be built by using government funding. By using state funding, government will have to solicit funds abroad and the Chinese counterparts are supporting government to raise funds through the China EXIM bank.”

“Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in a letter to the appropriate Chinese authority, indicated that this project is a national priority.”

The Essikado Ketan Legislature further stated that, “The maximum line government intends to construct under this arrangement is about 400 kilometers and it is expected to pass through Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo region. Cabinet has also approved the joint committee between Ghana and Burkina Faso to develop the Accra to Ouagadougou railway line. This line will pass through the Volta region, pass Yendi and come to Tamale and continue to Paga.”

The Northern Regional Minister, Salifu Saeed anticipated that the project, when executed, will attract more investors to the north.

“This will open the gateway for potential investors particularly Tamale. It will trigger all forces of development that will take away the poverty people in the area endure.”

“This intervention will create jobs for the productive labor forces among the teeming youth and people will do longer travel to the south looking for non-existing jobs.”

Salifu Sa-eed touted Tamale saying, “Tamale is a hub not only to the three regions of the north but an anchor to the Sahelian countries. So if we are able to ensure that the rail transport comes here, already the northern region and northern Ghana serves as the food basket of the country, the rail transport will play a critical role.”

“One other important thing this rail transport is going to do is to increase the lifespan of our roads especially the major trunk roads that links the north to the south and Burkina Faso to the capital of Ghana.”



The Gukpe Naa, Naa Alhassan Abdulai assured government of the traditional authorities’ unflinching support.

“We will make the necessary lands available for the project to be executed. As a national assignment, the chiefs in the area will ensure that the inhabitants comply with government in order for the project to be executed.”