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19.04.2004 Business & Finance

Two Firms Short-listed For Ghana Railways "Take-over"

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Two companies have been short-listed to enter into the final round for bidding to take over the rehabilitation and management of the Ghana Railway Company.

The names of the two companies were, however, not disclosed. Three companies Railnet and United Rail, both from the United Kingdom, as well as Spoornet of South Africa, put in their bids on March 31st, 2004.

Professor Christopher Ameyaw Akumfi, the minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, disclosed this in interview in Accra this weekend.

Ghana's railway network has over the years not seen any major investment and that has badly affected rail services in the country. Professor Ameyaw Akumfi said the two companies would be expected to open their financial bids at the end of the month. He said the committee that vetted the initial bidding documents of the companies examined their organisational structure, financial and operational capabilities, experience and business plan.

The minister said the criteria set would, in the end bring out the best company to take over the rehabilitation and management of the rail sector. On the way passengers hang on coaches without paying, he said the authorities had set up a task force to deal with the issue but recommended that the police should be involved to make the operations more effective.

Prof Akumfi said an OPEC loan of $5million was expected to be approved by Parliament when it returns from recess toe able work on the Accra/Tema rail lien to take office. He said a supplementary loan of $50milion from the Chinese government was expected out of which $4.5milion would be used to replace the corroded rail lines around the Sakumono Lagoon and Tema.

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