'Government would ensure transparency in railways procurement processes'
Accra, June 7, GNA - Mr Joe Ghartey, Minister for Railways Development, has disclosed that about 200 local and foreign investors have expressed interest in investing in various components of the country's railway sector.
He therefore, gave the assurance that government would ensure fairness and transparency in the procurement processes, irrespective of the country of origin of prospective bidders in compliance with the country's laws and regulations.
Mr Ghartey who is also the Member of Parliament for Essikadu-Ketan, said this when a seven-member delegation from the United Kingdom Department for International Trade paid a courtesy call on him in Accra.
He said government had ambitious vision of revamping the railway industry, adding: 'if the colonial government could complete the Western rail lines from Takoradi to Kumasi (1898-1903) with the technology at that time, then we could execute the task when we work harder'.
The Minister said the British colonial administration left behind 947 kilometres of rail lines and thus, indicated that only 13 per cent of them were in operation at the moment.
He noted: 'It was the rail that made Ghana the largest producer of cocoa and also made Ghana the richest British colony in Africa by the 1930's'.
The sector Minister therefore urged the Department to offer the necessary support in order to breathe life into the hitherto vibrant industry.
Currently, he said, Ghana was operating Western and Eastern rail lines with the former covering 339 kilometres from Takoradi to Kumasi, while the latter covered 303.9 kilometres from Accra to Kumasi with a branch line from Accra to Tema.
The Minister stated that the Central Spine which was yet to be constructed would cover a distance of 595 kilometres, which would link Kumasi to the central part of Ghana to Paga in the North, near the Ghana-Burkina Faso border.
Mr Craig Sillars, the Head of Special Projects, United Kingdom Department of Trade, said his outfit was ready to partner government in designing, engineering, construction and funding of rail projects in the country.
By Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA