The Gukpe Naa of Tamale, Naa Alhassan Abdulai, has lauded government’s quest to construct a 400 kilometer railway line from Kumasi in the Ashanti Region to Tamale in the Northern region.
He has subsequently assured government of the unflinching support of chiefs in the area to realise the development of the railway system in Tamale.
He said the chiefs will make the necessary lands available for the project to be executed successfully adding inhabitants will comply with government in order for the project to be completed on time.
He made the comments when the Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey, paid a courtesy call on him on Friday 13 July 2018, as part of his tour of the region ahead of the commencement of the project.
He told the chiefs about plans of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to connect the country’s major cities through railway lines.
He explained that under the railway development plan, the Kumasi to Paga railway line is the central spine and it is divided into two sections namely Kumasi to Tamale and then Tamale to Paga. According to Mr Ghartey, government has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a Chinese company to develop the Kumasi to Tamale section.
He disclosed that, President Nana Akufo-Addo has given a clear directive that the Kumasi to Tamale section of the line must be built by using government funding. He noted that by using state funding, government will have to solicit funds abroad and that the Chinese counterparts are supporting government through the China EXIM Bank.
Cabinet has already approved of the joint committee between Ghana and Burkina Faso to develop the Accra to Ouagadougou railway line. This line will connect the Volta region, Yendi and Tamale in the Northern region and continue to Paga in the Upper East region.
On his part, Northern regional Minister, Salifu Saeed said the project will result in development which will help alleviate poverty in the area.
He said the intervention will create jobs for the youth and people will no longer travel to the south in search of non-existing jobs.
Mr Saeed indicated that the railway project will create a gateway for potential investors.
“So if we are able to ensure the rail transport comes here, already Northern region and Northern Ghana serves as the food basket of the country, the rail transport will play a critical role. One other important thing this rail transport is going to do, is going to increase the lifespan of our roads, especially the major roads that link the north to the south and Burkina Faso to the capital of Ghana,” he added.
Mr Ghartey also visited the the Sagnari Naa, Naa Yakubu Abdulai. He was accompanied by the Mr Saeed and the Mayor of Tamale, Musa Superior.