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Opinions of Monday, 17 February 2020

Columnist: Josephine Nettey

Traffic in Accra can be reduced when we revive the railway sector

The railway sector, which is a very strategic means of transport all over the world, has remained moribund for years.

By the late 80’s and 90’s, the sector had begun experiencing the throes of death. The rail system, over the years, has not been given the needed attention, until 2010, when a contract was signed to construct a railway from Paga (on the border with Burkina Faso) to Kumasi; plus a branch from Tamale to Yendi.

GhanaRailwaysystem actually commenced rail business in 1923, with the construction 304-kilometre (189 mi) Eastern Railway by the British for the purpose of hauling minerals and Cocoa.

Apart from being a much-desired a cheaper alternative to road transport which the country places above any other means, the railway system is much cheaper and affordable to the masses and even safer as it takes pressure off the road, hence allowing for a longer durability and cheaper cost of road maintenance.

It is not also encouraging that the nation has been downplaying the significance of the railway since the 80’s when it began its downward slide in the country.

This government, has continued from where the previous government left off, and they are signs that, the investments will begin to pay off.

Ghanaians will sooner rather than later, see a rejuvenated railway sector. If we are to reduce traffic on our roads which affect productivity, serious attention must be paid to the railway sector. Traffic is no longer the preserve of Accra, every city in Ghana, now experiences gridlock.

We, therefore, call on the government to invest more energy and time to achieve a working and efficient rail system if not a state-of-the-art one such as obtainable in Japan, France and China.

It would do the country a whole lot of good if the government confronts with all seriousness and determination whatever obstacles it might be experiencing in putting together a formidable, effective and efficient rail system.

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