In a move to refurbish the railway sector in Ghana, the Ministry of Railway Development has begun repairing grounded trains in the country using local artisans.
Confirming the reports was the sector Minister, Mr. Joe Ghartey who said the Parliamentary Select Committee on Transport has inspected repair works on the railway and coaches at Tema in the Greater Accra Region to give the committee members a first-hand information on works so far done so that they could brief other members on efforts being made to revamp the railway sector.
Repairing old coaches
Mr. Joe Ghartey pointed out that the country is set to invest more in repairing old coaches instead of buying new ones. He added that the repair will be done nationwide and the trains in areas such as Takoradi that have undergone the repair, have already been fitted air conditioners.
“We have to build-local indigenous coaches that could stand the test of time, which is a big challenge to the country’s master artisans, in order to introduce more new services for goods haulage and passengers,” said Mr. Joe Ghartey.
According to him, the repair in the Accra-Tema, Accra-Nsawam and the Accra-Achimota rail lines would greatly improve the country’s transportation system.He also pointed out that local indigenous coaches that stand the test of time will have to be built, in order to introduce more services for goods and passengers.
Ghana beyond aid agenda
Mr. Ghartey said that the Ministry will use local experts such as Suame Magazine in Kumasi to repair the trains. The local experts were recommended by the Ghana Association of Garages. He further added that if necessary, the ministry will send people outside the country to acquire the required training .This move will create jobs to the local industry as it boosts the government’s ‘Ghana beyond Aid’ agenda
The” Ghana beyond aid” agenda is a development charter that clearly defines the roles of various state actors. It provides an opportunity for Ghanaians to pay higher attention to some major areas of national growth including trade and productivity, boosting tourism dividends and ensure higher demand for Ghana made products. The agenda seeks to use Ghana’s own resources to build its economy that is not dependent on handouts nor charity as it engineers towards social and economic growth.
Mr Andy Appiah Kubi, the Deputy Minister of Railway Development however, emphasized that, a lot of work needs to be done in order to put the sector in line with international standards.