Joe Ghartey – Minister designate for Railway
Residents in the Essikado constituency of the Western Region have expressed appreciation to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for nominating the Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Joe Ghartey as Minister-designate for Railway Development.
They were hopeful their MP, if approved by Parliament, would formulate plans aimed at revamping the moribund railway sector.
They said the minister would use his expertise to find lasting solutions to problems in Ghana’s ailing railway sector.
DAILY GUIDE gathered that currently 130 km out of the about 947km track length of the country’s rail line is operational.
It would be recalled that the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration reconstructed the Takoradi/Sekondi via Kojokrom sub-urban railway lines to ease road traffic.
However, most of the residents in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis say the project is a misplaced priority.
They have, therefore, appealed to the Minister-designate for Railway Development to extend the railway line to Tarkwa in the Western Region and beyond.
Speaking to DAILY GUIDE in separate interviews, some residents of Essikako stressed that the history of Ghana’s economic development would be incomplete without the mention of the rail sector.
Godwill Ntarmah, General Secretary of the Railway Workers’ Union, commended the president for creating the ministry but added that he was expecting that the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority would be added to the sector.
He said Joe Ghartey would deliver as a Railway minister because his constituency has high number of railway workers.
Mr Ntarmah pointed out that the minister-designate should revamp the western railway corridor.
A former locomotive driver at Essikado, Agya Amanda, 70, told DAILY GUIDE that trains were crucial in the development of most advanced countries and emphasized the need for the sector to be revived to ensure socio-economic development of the country.
Additionally, he noted, rail transport was also cheaper and more affordable.
He advised the minister-designate to put measures in place to revive the entire railway sector in the country.
“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo deserves commendation for appointing a son of the land as the new minister.”
He, however, advised the minister not to be complacent but discharge his duties diligently.
Mr Amanda called on the people of Essikado, irrespective of their political and religious affiliations, to support their MP to succeed in his new role.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Essikado