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General News Sat, 24 Jun 2006

Define the position of Ghana Railway Company

Takoradi June 24 GNA - Mr Dominic Azumah, Deputy Ranking Member of the Parliamentary Select Committee On Roads and Transport, on Friday said the government should clearly define the position of the Ghana Railway Company (GRC).

He was speaking at a meeting of the Committee with a section of the management and staff of the company as part of the committee's one-day working visit to GRC and the Takoradi Port at Takoradi.

Mr. Azumah said the relationship of the company with the government is not clear.

He said the government should either make GRC a subvented organisation or a fully-fledged private company.

He said if it is declared a subvented organisation the government should meet its needs.

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Mr Azumah said the company could source funds to improve its operations as a private organisation. Economic Committee Railway 2 Takoradi

Mr Samuel Kweku Obodai, chairman of the Select Committee and Member of Parliament for Agona West said past governments did not pay much attention to GRC.

He said the committee would find out how the government could help and increase its assistance to the company.

Mr Obodai assured workers of the company of the Committee's assistance and urged them to work hard and to have patience, while solutions were being found to their problems.

Mr Emmanuel Opoku, acting Managing Director of GRC, said the workers have not been paid for the past two months.

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Hesaid until two months ago, the company had not been receiving government subvention.

Mr Opoku said many of the company's rail lines are not working and it had not been able to meet its transportation target for bauxite and manganese.

Mr Samuel Kokovina, General Secretary of Railway Workers Union, said the company has not been able to increase its tariffs on manganese for the past 15 years.

He said this is because the company is indebted to the Ghana National Manganese Company.

Source: GNA