The Ministry of Railway Development has appealed to land owners affected by railway projects to cooperate with the Ministry to resolve compensation claims rather than disrupting the flow of work.
Deputy Sector Minister, Andy Appiah-Kubi, said, although cost of financing for the various projects include compensation, payment could only be effected after assessment by the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources through the Lands Commission.
Speaking at the second Rail Dialogue in Accra yesterday, he noted that, disruption to flow of work by agitated land owners would negatively affect project timelines and even increase cost.
It was on the theme “Developing a Greenfield Railway Project, the example of Ghana-Burkina Interconnectivity Project: Lessons, Challenges and the Way Forward.”
He explained that government would not renege on its commitment to pay compensation promptly following the exhaustion of the processes by the mandated agency.
More importantly, Mr Appiah-Kubi urged agitators to focus on the benefits including economic growth and enhanced transportation system rail developments brings to communities saying that “we should all embrace rail developments by rather creating the right environment for the projects to take off and complete successfully.”
Additionally, he said, Ghanaians could emulate the the East Africa experience where land owners willingly gave out their lands to enable the government undertake rail projects without paying compensation.
Detailing lessons from the Ghana-Burkina Faso rail project, he stated that, the project has enabled technology and skills transfer between the two countries and provided opportunities across the region.
He said the collaboration has further enhanced the attractiveness of the project to a wide range of investors and presented a case for regional integration.
Minister of Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, who chaired the function, said, government would ensure that projects were of high quality and meet acceptable standards.
He said the Ministry was focused on enhancing Ghanaian participation through appropriate training of locals to be able to maintain and efficiently operate the system when the period of concessionaire comes to an end.
Nana Gyan Obiri Dapaah II, Adontenhene Senchi, Akwamu Traditional Area, called on the government to consider support for individuals who relied on their lands for economic activities and served as their source of livelihood.
He reiterated the commitment of chiefs and traditional leaders to support government in developing Ghana’s rails to enhance national development.
Caption: Mr Ghartey (left) interacting with Mr Appiah Kubi and another participants at the dialogue
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS