The Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan constituency and Railway Sector Minister, Hon. Joe Ghartey has challenged the Sekondi Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to develop an industrial park around the enclave of the railway sector. This was at a public lecture during the Annual General Meeting of the STCCI in Takoradi the western region on Monday 19th August 2019.
It was on theme “RAILWAY REVITALIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: APPROACH AND OPPORTUNITIES”
The Railway Sector in his presentation revealed that the railway ministry since its establishment in February 2017 has transferred an amount of One Hundred and Five Million, Forty Eight Thousand, Six Hundred and Twelve Ghana Cedis, Forty Pesewas (105,048,612.14) from its budget allocation for the payment of project procured and executed by Ghana Railway Company Limited from 2017 to August 2019.
According to him the ministry is pursuing associated infrastructure development where all railway stations are to be developed as economy centers. Moreover, other associated infrastructure which will be developed includes: Hospitality, Housing, Free Zone/Industrial Parks, Container Terminal/Inland Ports and Cities.
Hon. Joe Ghartey hinted that the old Railway Training Institute and workshop located at Essikado has received a major facelift into a teaching and learning facilities to enhance capacity building and skill development for the railway sector. He added the that 2 out of the 7 railway location workshops were rehabilitated during the year 2018 and equipped to become a one stop workshop to serve the Railway, Mining, Petroleum and Agricultural industries in Ghana. The first phase of the upgrading project has been completed and the Ghana Railway Company Limited has started using the facility to run in-house training programmes for its staffs.
The MP for Essikado-Ketan said the Ghana Railway Sector has been facing numerous challenges including encroachment on the eastern line by squatters and petty traders, land acquisition and compensation, illegal activities affecting formation, institutional and human capacity and inadequate regulations.
Speaking to the media, the Deputy Chief Executive of Sekondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Benjamin Nii Kpandi Addy said during the second quarter business condition survey of STCCI it was apparent that one key issue affecting businesses is competition in the sector; on what he termed as “copy copy”, because a lot of people are engaged in the same area of business and it is bringing a lot of challenges to businesses.
He accepted the challenge of the Minister saying, the STCCI might not have much of the resources but they can liase with the chiefs and opinion leaders to make sure lands are released and with togetherness they can develop the task or challenge assigned to them.
He therefore assured that the STCCI will start working to develop an industrial park by constituting a committee to carry out feasibility studies.
Filed By: BENJAMIN BRAY-TAKORADI
Joe Bright Nyarko
Journalist/Communication Researcher. Environment & Sustainability Advocate. Managing Editor of aptnewsghana.com, a non-profit news portal with bias towards environment and sustainability issues, rural development policies and gender & inequality.