Mr. Godwill Ntarmah, the Ghana Railway Workers Union Secretary, has called on the Attorney-General and the Minister of Finance to ensure that the $3.2 billion loan facility from South Africa company, Thelo DB, is delivered for smooth implementation of the western rail line project.
He said as a union, all possible and needed questions have been asked on the requirement for the facility to ensure that rough edges were smoothened for better arrangements, adding, that, “we don’t need a contract where there will be court issues tomorrow.”
The loan would help in the expansion of the Western Rail lines as part of measures to revamp the rail sector in the country.
Mr. Ntarmah, at a second engagement meeting with the board of the company, pledged the continuous support of the rank and file of the union to ensure the success of the programme.
He noted how the company had been in distress, adding, “…and so if a huge amount of money like this is going to be invested in the railway sector to make sure we have a perfect line, we are for it.”
He continued: “We have the locomotive to run, we have the trucks all and all we may need is refresher training of workers…We support it wholly.”
The Facility would aid in the construction of the Western Railway line spanning 339km from Takoradi Port to Kumasi.
He said at present, only 66km of that stretch of line was operational.
Mr. Daniel Kwame Adzogbe, Board Chairman, espousing the various progress made with the Thelo DB consortium, said soon the government would reach an agreement with the entities for work to begin.
He believed that the various managerial decisions were geared towards the revival of the rail sector to create more employment, helping in the carting of commodities especially from communities along the lines to major cities.
“The Western Railway Line Project will transform Ghana’s existing railway infrastructure base into a modern, robust and integrated railway system, with the associated infrastructure to position Ghana’s rail network as a leading transport system in Africa.”
The project includes all project preparation-related activities, such as feasibility studies, demand analysis, preliminary and detailed design, and procurement consulting; implementation systems engineering design, construction supervision, design review, audit systems engineering, testing and commissioning of rolling stock and infrastructure; and operations and maintenance management, early train operator, consulting services in terms of infrastructure operations, rolling stock operations, infrastructure and rolling stock maintenance
Thelo DB is incorporated between Thelo Ventures, and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn Engineering & Consulting (DB). The Thelo DB consortium also includes Ghanaian partner Transtech Consult.