Government is mobilising US$2 billion towards the development of railway infrastructure and services, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said.
Delivering a message on the state of the nation to Parliament yesterday, the President said government has rehabilitated a section of the narrow-gauge western line from Kojokrom to Tarkwa through Nsuta.
This, he said, will facilitate the haulage of manganese from Nsuta to the Takoradi Port, and also to provide a passenger rail service along the corridor.
The President pointed out that construction is ongoing on a new standard gauge line from Kojokrom through Eshiem to Manso.
A five hundred-million-euro (€500 million) contract has been signed for the construction of a standard gauge railway line from Manso to Huni Valley, he said.
The contract, according to him, includes the conversion of the narrow-gauge tracks between Takoradi and Sekondi to standard gauge, and the development of standard gauge tracks from the Takoradi station to the Takoradi Port for efficient and effective access for cargo handling.
President Akufo-Addo said the development of the project would result in the construction of 102km kilometres of rail tracks between the Port of Takoradi and Huni Valley.
“Contracts for standard gauge railway lines from Kumasi to Kaase, Kaase to Eduadin, Eduadin to Obuasi, Eduadin to Ejisu with a linkage to the Boankra Inland Port, Manso to Dunkwa, have all been signed”.
“The Tema to Mpakadan rail project is currently about eighty percent (80%) complete, with the rehabilitation of the Railway Training School and two (2) location workshops being completed”.
“The Ghana School of Railways and Infrastructure Development, a school under the George Grant University of Mines and Technology, has matriculated its first batch of students, and will begin awarding certificates and diplomas in engineering and other related courses,” he said.
On roads, the President said his administration would, this year, prioritise road construction so that road projects that started under the Sinohydro facility would be completed.
Also, he said interchanges that are at various stages of completion would be completed.
Touching on aviation, President Akufo-Addo said Cabinet has granted policy approval for the establishment of a National Flag Carrier (Home Based Airline) with strategic partner participation.
“Construction of the second and third phases of the Kumasi Airport, second phase of Tamale Airport, and rehabilitation of the Sunyani airport, are all proceeding satisfactorily. A decision on the siting of the proposed airport in the Central and Western Regions is imminent,” he said.
On ports, President Akufo-Addo noted that the construction of a new dedicated container terminal at the Tema Port is ongoing, and added that three out of the four berths have been completed to facilitate maritime and inland waterways transportation.
“Removal of tree stumps along the navigable pathway at the Dambai to Dambai-Overbank, Yeji-Makango, and Yeji-Aworjekope has been completed to improve the safety of navigation, and reduce accidents on the Volta Lake”.
“The construction of ferry landing sites along the Volta Lake at Dambai and Dambai Overbank is 68 per cent complete, whilst that of Yeji, Makango and Agodeke is 46 percent complete”.
“In total, seven rescue and high-speed patrol boats have been procured by the Ghana Maritime Authority and deployed into service to improve safety and security of our maritime domain and inland waterways,” he said.
BY YAW KYEI