Moribund railway system should be resurrected - Kufuor
President John Agyekum Kufuor on Wednesday said the Ghana Railway Company (GRC) must be resurrected from its moribund state to play its role in the economy.
"The company is moribund and must be resurrected because it is a critical component for our economic growth especially in the transport sector", he said.
President Kufuor made the call when administering the oaths of office and secrecy to the eight-member Ghana Railway Company Board at the Castle, Osu.
They were Mr Joseph Samuel Appiah, a retired Director of the Company as the Chairman, Mr Emmanuel Opoku Acting Managing Director of the Company and Mr Ben Owusu-Mensah, Director-General of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority (GPHA).
The rest were Mr D.C. Gyima, Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB), Mr S.K. Appah, Deputy Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Nana Awulai Agyefi Kwame II, Paramount Chief of Nsein Traditional Area, Mrs Adwoa Foriwaa Obiri, a businesswoman and Mr Samuel Kokovena, General Secretrary of the Ghana Railway Workers Union. President Kufuor said, with the right motivation for the management and workers, the Company could be put back on track to perform its role in the economy, adding, " for far too long the Company had been moribund and should be resurrected".
He said the huge investments being made in the road sector were being destroyed by the heavy loads of the articulated trucks and this had been compounded by the increasing traffic from land-locked countries within the West African Sub-Region.
President Kufuor told the members that being the pioneering Board, they should take decisions and seek the welfare of the management and workers to modernize the company to play its role in the economy.
"We trust you will do a good job to restructure and revitalize the Company", he said.
He asked the Board to guide the management of the Company to fight corruption in the system because most people tend to be short-sighted with the operations of public corporations and institutions.
"You must show that under your supervisory role the management could share and co-operate with you in the vision you have for the running of the Company to send the signals to Ghanaians that you are determined to bring the Company back on track", he said.
Mr Appiah, Chairman of the Board said they were fully aware of the responsibilities on their shoulder and what was expected of them. He said the problems of the Company were due to variety of factors and the enormity of the task ahead of the Board could not be underestimated but they were strong in their conviction that a light would emerge at the end of the tunnel.
The Chairman gave the assurance that the Board would embark on a pragmatic programme to transform the Company to the demands of the transport sector through an efficient, reliable services networked through expansion, infrastructure maintenance to ensure comfort and safety for service customers.
Among those present at the ceremony was Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, and Professor Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi, Minister of Railways, Ports and Harbours.