Ghana needs to revamp railway sector: Minister
Public Private Partnership (PPP) is needed in the investment drive to revamp Ghana’s railway system that has collapsed, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, Minister of Transport, said on Wednesday.
She said the PPP would be attractive if regulatory regime for the venture was rightly carried out with proper concessionary arrangements.
Mrs Attivor made the remarks at the inauguration of the reconstituted Board of Directors of the Ghana Railway Development Authority (GRDA), in Accra on Wednesday.
She said the existing railway system, especially with respect to freight haulage, had contributed significantly to the deterioration of roads in the country since freight meant for rail transport was being converged by road.
The 11-member board is chaired by Mrs Peace Judith George, a Development Consultant.
The members are: Mr Siisi Essuman-Ocran, Director for Policy Planning, Ministry of Transport, Mr A. A. Sadique, acting Chief Executive, GRDA and Mr James Kwesi-Depat Musey, a consultant.
The others are Osabarima Ansah Sasraku III, Memfehene, Mr Godwin Brocke, Director in charge of Policy and Planning, Ministry of Roads and Highways, and Alhaji Suleiman Huseini, General Manger, Engineering, Ghana Ports and Habours Authority.
The rest are Dr Toni Aubynn, Chief Executive Officer, Ghana Chamber of Mines, Mr Ebenezer Tei-Quartey, a Director at COCOBOD, Dr Isaac Frimpong Mensa-Bonsu, member, and a representative of the Ministry of Finance.
Mrs Dzifa said the Board was expected to help the GRDA to achieve its goals towards raising the country to a middle income status.
“A critical point worthy of notice is the social democratic nature of the current administration. You must, therefore, be guided by this in the formulation of your plans and programme. Always bearing in mind that the welfare of the people is core to the developmental agenda”, she said.
According to the Minister, GRDA, currently lacked the requisite human capacity and charged the new board to immediately put in place the full complement of staff.
Mrs Dzifa also asked the board to ensure that the railway master plan was completed to guide the development of the railway sector.
She also asked the board to collaborate with the board of Ghana Railway Company Limited to implement the provisions of Railways Act 779 of 2008, which established the GRDA.
She urged the board to ensure timely execution of on-going development projects by the Authority.
Mrs George, lauded President John Mahama for having confidence and trust in the members and bestowing such a governing task on them.
She gave the assurance that by the end of its tenure, the board would move the railway sector forward to help achieve the government’s better Ghana Agenda.
The board was later led by Mrs Attivor, to undertake the oath of office and secrecy.
The GRDA was established in 2008 to regulate operations of the railway sector and to undertake infrastructure development of the sector.