Avert total collapse of Ghana Railway Company Limited – RWU

The Railway Workers Union (RWU) has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to intervene immediately to avert the Ghana Railway Company Limited (GRCL) from a total collapse.

According to the union, the deteriorating condition of the GRCL was clear signal that the company was gradually grinding to a halt unless the President took action, as a matter of urgency, to salvage the situation.

The RMU in a press statement signed by the General Secretary, Godwill Ntarmah yesterday in Takoradi and copied the Ghanaian Times, said currently, the company was unable to purchase fuel to run its manganese freight and the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) passenger train.

“Therefore, for the past few days, all the freight trains as well as the DMU’s have been parked,” it added.

Apart from the inability to purchase fuel, it said there was also the overwhelming debt burden of the  company including the non-payment of salaries to some staff from August and the  general staff from September, as well as workers welfare dues, SSNIT  and  Credit Union contributions.

“In view of the above, we kindly call on President Akufo-Addo to immediately direct the release of the revenue realised from the auctioning of the scrap metals of GRCL to purchase fuel and other operational challenges to save GRCL,” the RWU stated.

The GRCL is a public-sector body with responsibility for the efficient management of the national rail system to enhance the smooth movement of goods and passengers.

Operations began in 1898 under the Gold Coast Civil Service with headquarters in Sekondi, Western Region.

The headquarters were transferred to Takoradi in the same region after the building of Takoradi Harbour, and railways and ports were jointly administered as the Ghana Railway and Ports Authority.

In 1976, the railway was separated from ports as the Ghana Railway Corporation, making the company enjoyed the status of a public corporation until March 19, 2001, when it became a limited liability company.

The original 304-kilometre (189 mi) Eastern Railway was built in 1923 by the British for the purpose of hauling minerals and cocoa.

Construction of the Ghana Railways started before there were any port facilities, and locomotives and other equipment had to be lightered over the beach.

In 2010, a contract was signed to construct a railway from Paga, on the border with Burkina Faso to Kumasi, plus a branch from Tamale to Yendi, Northern Region.


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