The Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has given the strongest indication that workers of the Ghana Railway Company Limited who haven’t been paid for some three months now will in the coming week be paid.
According to Joe Ghartey, who doubles as the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan Constituency the 3 months’ salary arrears is as a result of the fact that the Ghana Manganese Company Limited stopped its operations.
“Ghana Railway Company Limited earns it money from manganese and what happened was that the manganese company didn’t operate for some time,” he said.
Speaking on Eye on Port interactive session on national television, he gave the assurance that government is giving a cash injection which will cover all the company’s expenses up to March 2021.
The money, he said “will hit the account next week”.
He entreated workers of the company to always endeavour to give off their best in the discharge of their duties.
“It is not free money and I trust that they will respect government’s good intention for the sector and they will also improve their delivery and I have confidence in them,” he said.
Joe Ghartey disclosed that the 97km rail line eastern route from Tema to Mpakadan is 60% complete.
The percentage of completion, according to him, is based on the interim payment certificate that have been passed by the consultants of the project.
“They have passed 24 Interim payment certificate so far and the certificate is based on the work that have been done so far,” he said.
He revealed that ongoing rail constructions which should have seen completion by end of August 2020, have halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as over 70 workers undertaking the construction tested positive for the virus.
Speaking on the on the Role of Rail in Multimodal Connectivity and Economic Growth in Ghana, the Railway Minister revealed that COVID-19 has significantly affected all rail projects across the country.
The thing that disturbed us the most was that we were about to do the 300 meters across the Volta river and the infamous covid-19 came and affected the project.
When the President announced the lockdown he excluded railways and roads thankfully. But what happened was that over 70 workers in the camp got the virus,” he said.