Our spare parts are wasting away at ports over inability to pay duties – Railway Workers

The Ghana Railway Workers Union says despite difficulties to ensure maintenance of its rolling stock for smooth operation, its imported spare parts for both locomotives and wagons are wasting away at the ports due to the non-availability of funds to pay the needed duties and charges.

Speaking to Citi News, during a meeting of the National Executive Council of the Ghana Railway Workers Union in Sekondi, the General Secretary of the Ghana Railway Workers Union, Goldwill Ntarmah appealed to the Ministry of Railway Redevelopment to immediately grant them an exemption to enable the clearance of the imported spare parts for their operations.

“Disturbing and unfortunate issue on hand is, a number of spare parts for both locomotives and wagons procured under the CAPEX fund are still at the ports awaiting clearance due to non-availability of funds to pay the needed duties and charges. Some of these parts are to address the braking deficiencies of our locomotives and wagons”.

“One would have taught that considering the huge financial challenges facing the GRCL, some exemptions would have been granted the company to clear these parts from the port. We therefore make a passionate appeal in this regard to the ministry of Railways to address the issue,“ he said.

Also on matters that need the attention of the Ministry of Railways Redevelopment, Godwill Ntarmah called for a meeting with the Ministry to discuss the outstanding 2006 retrenched staff issue as well as the disagreement between the Ghana Railway Development Authority and Ghana Railway Company Limited.

“One would have expected that, being the only two (2) agencies under the Ministry of Railways Development, GRDA and GRCL would have lived peacefully and collaborated strongly to ensure the betterment of the Railway Sector, but this is not the case. It is an open secret that the relationship between the two agencies is not the best. The time has come for the general interest of the Railway Sector to be considered rather than the individual agency interest,” he added.

He called on the ministry of Railways Development for a round table discussion on how to collaborate and ensure a peaceful coexistence.

On his part, the Managing Director of the Ghana Railway Company Limited, Dr. Engineer Michael Aryetei Adjei, said the Railways Company is unable to meet its set target of manganese haulage due to challenges of haulage.

He appealed to the Ministry to impress on the contractor to speed up redevelopment works on the Takoradi to Manso standard gauge rail line.

The Omanhene of the Essikado Traditional Area, Nana Kobina Nketsia, who has been an advocate for the redevelopment of the Ghana Railways called for sincere commitment and proper retooling of the Railways sector to enable it serve its purpose to their Ghanaian economy.