Mr Godwill Ntarmah, General Secretary of the Railway Workers Union, has called on the Ministry for Railways to secure clearance from relevant government agencies to clear both Locomotives and Wagons procured under the CAPEX fund to address their braking deficiencies.
He said the delay at the port due to huge port duties and charges left much to be desired in the country’s quest to develop the railway sector, create more employment, and enhance operational efficiency.
“One would have taught that considering the huge financial challenges facing the Ghana Railway Company Limited, some exemptions would have been granted for the company to clear these parts from the port.”
The General Secretary said this at the National Executive Council (NEC) Meeting by the Railway Workers Union at the Railway Training School at Essikado in Sekondi in the Western Region.
Mr Ntarmah was unhappy that the yearly event of NEC meeting was becoming a talk shop event as the expected results continued to elude workers.
However, he prayed that 2023 would see the implementation of programmes that could advance the wellbeing of workers and the status of the company.
He lamented over the inability of the company to purchase volumes of fuel to run both manganese and Passenger trains, non-Payment of their SSNIT contributions, TIER 2 contributions, Non-Payment of gross salaries to workers, staff retrenchment issues since 2006 and inability to implement what was enshrined in the Collective Agreement among others continued to create pain and sorrow in the veins of both workers and management.
He wished that the partnership arrangement of which a Memorandum Of Understanding was signed between GRCL and Thelo DB of South Africa would see light of day … “We would be much happier to be updated on this very project, which some of us call it the game changer to address our challenges.”
Mr Ntarmah asked that in the interest of brotherliness, peace, and unity, the Ministry and the company worked hand in hand in the interest of all to address the problem.
“It must be pointed out that posterity will never forgive us if we fail to take advantage of the opportunity as a stand-alone Ministry for two consecutive terms to develop the Railway Sector,” the General Secretary admonished.
Nana Kobena Nketsia V, the Paramount Chief of Essikado, a comrade and enthusiast of the sector wondered why it was taking the government so long a time to revive the railway industry adding, “even in those days when manpower was used to build the railways, it took only five years to get the lines to Kumasi, how come in this day and age where technology and innovation is the order of the day.”
He said the, “the demise of the railway sector was having a huge effect on the social and cultural wellbeing of the people whose livelihoods depended on the Sector…” we need to activate the dreams, what is Sekondi without railways.”
The Paramount Chief of Essikado said it was about time the government channeled resources into resuscitating the sector to lessen the negative economic, social, and cultural issues that have been generated over the period.
Dr Mike Adjei Anyetei, Managing Director of the Railway Company impressed upon contractors to speed up work on the Manso -Huni Valley lines to save the company from total collapse.
He prayed that the whole western rail lines would be activated to boost the local economy.
Mr Kwabena Okyere Darko-Mensah, the Western Regional Minister noted how the sector was a key economic transformation enabler and pledged government’s commitment to see the Sector work well again.