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Business News Sun, 16 Oct 2005

Where is United Rail?

...As Ameyaw-Ekumfi appears totally confused

Under the headline ?Moves to remove GRC from divestiture list?, the following extract from an innocuous-sounding story was tucked away at page 31 of the ?Daily Graphic? of Thursday October 6, 2005:

?The Minister of Harbours and Railways has initiated moves to temporarily remove the distressed Ghana Railway Company (GRC) from the divestiture list.

The move is aimed, among others, at reverting the company back to the status of a government subvented organisation and also to allow it to source loans to improve and rehabilitate its dilapidated facilities.

He discounted claims that United Rail had withdrawn from participating in the revamping of the company and said his contact with the company indicated that it was still interested in the deal.

Professor Ameyaw-Akumfi said there were many issues that needed to be resolved to get the deal finalised.

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He mentioned, for instance, the payment of retrenchment fees to the workers to be laid off, among others, and noted that until those issues had been ironed out, the consortium could not take over?

The story also mentioned that the Minister had made a proposal to the Ministry of Finance to factor into the 2006 budget an amount of $27 million to enable the company carry out its retrenchment exercise and had also requested for ?20 billion in the budget to undertake routine maintenance in 2006, in addition to ?9 billion already released from the HIPC funds for similar exercises this year.

Here are a few questions for Professor Ameyaw-Ekumfi:

We will stop here for now. We will come back after Professor Ameyaw-Ekumfi has provided some responses to these preliminary questions.
Source: Ghana Palaver
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