Minister Nominee for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has emphasized government’s commitment to revamp Ghana’s railway sector to transform the economy when he assumes office.
The Minister Nominee gave the assurance when he appeared before Parliament’s Appointment Committee on Thursday to be vetted. Joe Ghartey said he will kick-start the restructuring of the railway sector with the reconstruction of the railways along the Eastern and Western lines, among others.
“We have the Eastern extension and we have the Western extension. Along this line lies some mineral deposits. The minerals are not economically viable because we do not have access to those places.. so we are focusing on redoing the Western line, the Eastern line, of course Tema Akosombo and the Central Spine. The total project will be 21 billion dollars…,” said Joe Ghartey.
Railway sector key to economic transformation
The Minister Nominee further stated that, Ghana’s dream of economic transformation will only materialize if government focuses on expanding the railway sector.
“What will happen in Ghana if we agree to expand the railway is an economic explosion. What we are thinking about the transformation of the economy can only happen, or will happen the fastest if we invest in the railway.”
Mr. Joe Ghartey said a revamping of the railway sector will improve the lives of Ghanaians and productivity, by reducing the stress people go through using congested roads, as they are forced to spend several hours in traffic.
When asked by the MP for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga on the possible challenges that could hinder the revamping of the industry, especially the construction of the Paga railway line, the nominee admitted that financial challenges could impede the construction, but was quick to add that “It depends on how we manage it and if we manage it and manage it properly in a few years we will get to Paga by rail.”
About Joe Ghartey
Joe Ghartey was born 15 June 1961, in Accra. He is a lawyer, academic and politician. He hails from Shama, in the Western Region.
Ghartey is currently the NPP Member of Parliament for Essikado/Ketan Constituency in the Western Region of the Republic of Ghana.
He was first elected to the seat in the December 2004 elections and was re-elected in both the December 2008 and December 2012 elections.
In all the three elections he was not contested in the primaries of the NPP to choose the parliamentary candidate for the Constituency.
During the administration of President John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghartey was appointed Deputy Attorney General and Deputy Minister of Justice in March 2005.
He was soon promoted and appointed the substantive Attorney-General and Minister of Justice in June 2006, a position he held until January 2009 following the electoral loss of the NPP in the 2008 general elections.
Ghartey was the longest serving Attorney-General and Minister of Justice under the Kufuor administration.
In June 2006, a Ministerial reshuffle by President Kufuor saw Ghartey being elevated from the position of Deputy Attorney-General and Minister of Justice to the substantive position of Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
After the 2012 general elections, Hon. Ghartey was nominated by the NPP minority in parliament to the position of Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament in the 6th Parliament of the 4th Republic.