The construction of Accra-Paga-Ouagadougou international rail line will see to the establishment of an International Container Terminal at Paga in the Upper East Region; the minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has disclosed.
As part of government’s plan to construct a rail line from Accra to Paga through Kumasi, Ho, Yendi and Tamale, the Ministry of Railways Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) in April 2018.
At a meeting with Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, chiefs, heads of departments and technocrats in Bolgatanga Wednesday, to give an overview of the Master Plan of the rail line, Mr. Ghartey, said the construction of the rail line comes with huge business opportunities that the people of the Upper East Region and all the other areas the line will pass through must take.
He explained that the terminal will serve as a strategic business point that will meet international standards where customs officers will be made to man and interact with business owners.
“There is a proposal with our ministry where somebody wants to develop a container terminal; that station at Avenue [Accra] because all the goods that come to Accra from Tema, about 80% of them come to the light industrial area and the proposal is that, we will use train rather than car to bring there that will take some of the traffic on the motorway and so and so forth.
So, I am also challenging you not just the chiefs but also the community at large and the business people and so think about it and see everywhere the train will stop as a business opportunity because it brings thousands of people to one place and it takes thousands of people from the place. So there is so much that can be done them and we have a plan that we will be bringing to Paga for example, a major modern International Container Terminal at Paga, where the goods will be moving across the border and our officials from customs and so on can interact and do business in a place that meets the standards of such places all over the world.” The minister, said.
According to the minister, ground breaking for the commencement of construction of the rail line will be done in between the end of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019 after which the nearly 1,200 km rail line will take between three and five years to complete.
Upper East Regional Minister, Rockson Ayine Bukari, was hopeful the construction of the rail line will not only provide jobs for the people of the region but, will also boost economic activities. He, therefore, urged chiefs and land owners whose areas the rail line will pass through, to release land for the smooth construction of the project.
Vice President of Upper East Regional House of Chiefs and paramount chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, Naba Baba Salifu Lemyaruum, assured the sector minister of the readiness of the chiefs of the region to make land available for the project.