UE Regional House of Chiefs pledge support for Accra-Paga rail line

Mr Joe Ghartey

Mr Joe Ghartey

The Upper East Regional House of Chiefs has pledged its commitment to support government realise her dream of constructing a  rail line from Accra, the  capital of Ghana through the Volta, Northern  and Upper East regions  to Burkina Faso.

The  Vice President of the Regional House of Chiefs,  Naba Baba Salifu Leemyarum, made the pledge  on behalf of the house on Wednesday at the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council  when the   Minister  of Railways Development, Mr  Joe Ghartey, briefed the Upper East Regional Minister, Mr Rockson Bukari Ayine and other stakeholders including the chiefs of the region on the Ghana Railway Master Plan.

Naba Leemyarum who is also the Paramount Chief  of the Bongo Traditional area stressed that viewing the enormous social and economic benefits  the construction of the rail lines  would bring to the region, there was no way they as chiefs would not lobby with land owners to release lands for such a significant development project.

He, however, mentioned that what was very significant now was for the Ministry of Railways Development to support the traditional rulers in the region to undertake more sensitisation and dialoguing programmes with the communities on the importance of the project.

The Minister of Railways Development said the rail lines project which would commence soon and when completed would compete with the Aviation sectors since it would take just five hours for passengers from Paga to reach Accra.

The Sector Minister  indicated that the importance of the project had attracted the attention of the Burkina Faso government to join in its implementation and noted that when completed it would help enhance trade among the two countries to  boost their economic growth.

Mr Ghartey told the stakeholders that the project had also plans in place to employ people particularly the youth from towns where the rail lines would pass and to also open business centres at such places.

He, therefore, appealed to the chiefs and people of the earmarked places for the rail lines to pass to take advantage of that and not to allow litigation to be a problem when it comes to the acquisition of land for the project.

The Deputy Minister of Railways Development, Mr Andy Appiah Kubi, said by the end of this year the contractors would have been selected to commence the constructional work of the 1,200 kilometres rail line in 2019 and complete by the year 2020.

The Upper East Regional Minister Mr Ayine, said he was very overwhelmed with the project and indicated that he was very optimistic that when completed it would not only strategically position the region to woe more investors to the area, but would also  help bridge the developmental gaps between the North and the South of the country.

Present at the meeting was a government delegation from Burkina Faso who also pledged their commitment to support the project to take off and complete as scheduled.

FROM SAMUEL AKAPULE, BOLGATANGA

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