Boankra Inland Port Ready 2015

Mrs Dzifa Ativor,Transport Minister (1)The Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, has announced that the government will, by the end of next year, partner a private sector investor to complete the Boankra Inland Port and the Eastern Railway line projects.

She said the decision to engage the private sector to complete the two projects was to provide a faster, safer and a more efficient integrated transport and logistics system for the movement of freight from the Tema port, to the northern part of the country as well as other land-locked countries in the sub-region.

Mrs Attivor announced this yesterday on the floor of Parliament when she appeared before the law makers to respond to a number of questions pertaining to the two projects.

The minister was responding to a question posed by Frank Annoh-Dompreh (NPP Nsawam–Adoagyiri), who wanted to know the government’s plan towards revamping the Accra —Nsawam railway line.

“The project which was put together in collaboration with the Public Investment Division (PID) of the Ministry of Finance, involves the reconstruction of the existing dilapidated and defunct 330km stretch of a narrow gauge rail line to a standard gauge, and the development of a 400-acre plot at Boankra, 27 kilometres from Kumasi into an inland port,” she said.

The minister said Messrs PWC had been engaged as transaction advisers, to advise the government on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) options to execute the project.

“It is expected that by the end of 2015, a private sector investor would be engaged to partner government for the execution of the project,” he said.

She said as part of efforts to continue with the provision of safe commuter rail services on the Accra -Nsawam line, the Ghana Railway Company Limited has been undertaking sleeper renewals where bad wooden sleepers are being replaced with steel sleepers.

Mrs Attivor said the rail sector is a major driving force for the development of the country, and for this reason, the revitalisation and rehabilitation of the rail lines remain a priority of the transport sector development agenda.

In another development, three other ministers of state were summoned by Parliament to appear before the House to answer a number of questions pertaining to the activities of their respective ministries.

They were Mr. Ekow Spio Garbrah, Minister of Trade, Marrieta Brew Appiah Oppong, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Nana Oye Lithur, Minister of Gender and Social Protection who was represented by her deputy, Mrs Dela Sowa.

Mr. Spio Garbrah, who was in the House to answer questions on the measures his outfit is taking to enforce the ban on export of scrap metals, said the administrative ban imposed on the exportation of ferrous scrap in the 1980s was given legal backing last year, with the promulgation of the Prohibition of Export L.I 2201, Regulation 2013.

He said the ban was necessitated by complaints from local steel mills about their inability to get supplies of ferrous scrap from the local dealers, due to their preference for exports rather than to sell locally.

He said the dealers resorted to export their products rather than selling them locally because, according to them, the local millers were not paying good prices, and were also not paying for delivery.

“A committee was inaugurated on April 24 last year and it is chaired by the Chief Director of the Ministry, with representatives from other government ministries and agencies,” he said, and added that the committee was working assiduously to enforce the ban on the exportation of scrap metals.

By Yaw Kyei

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