Takoradi Nov.11,- GNA-Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Ports, Harbours and Railways, on Friday called on workers of the Ghana Railways Company (GRC) to co-operate with the government to resuscitate the company.
He made the call at a meeting with workers of the company in Takoradi. Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the government would do everything within its power to obtain internal and external loans to get the company back on its feet when it is temporarily removed from the divestiture list. He said the divestiture programme of the company made it difficult to solicit financial assistance for the company that is in a weak financial position.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the company is not on government subvention and presently relies heavily on transportation of bauxite and manganese to generate revenue.
He said funds made from rail transportation is used as salaries for workers and for maintenance but often the government had to supplement these funds.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the government cannot fully pay workers salaries if rail transportation of bauxite and manganese is unable to generate sufficient funds.
He said HIPC funds cannot be used to pay salaries of workers and advised workers of the company to cut down waste as a way of reducing the huge debt of the company.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said it is only by improving the poor revenue base of the company that its workers could obtain better condition of service and upward adjustment of their salaries. He said temporary removal of the company from the divestiture list would enable the government to continue with the rehabilitation and retrenchment programmes of the company.
Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said the retrenchment programme would cost billions of cedis and the programme could be carried out in phases, depending on the availability of funds
He said facilities of the company are deteriorating and must be rehabilitated and hoped the rehabilitation would make it possible to divest the company.
Mr. Samuel Kokovena, General Secretary of Railway Workers Union, urged the government and workers to save the company from collapse. He asked the workers to unite and make concerted effort to reverse the fortunes of the company.
Mr. Kokovena expressed dissatisfaction about the way the company was being run, especially about the delay in the payment of salaries for as long as three month.