President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has cut the sod for the construction of a Railway Bridge on the Volta Lake at Ogoli, a village near Juapong in the Volta Region.
The bridge will allow for the new railway line from Tema in the Greater Accra Region to terminate at Mpakadan in the Eastern Region.
The $20-million Volta rail bridge has a span of 300 metres from Senchi to Mpakadan and will boost the transport system in the area.
The railway project, which was started in August last year, covers approximately 100 kilometres and is expected to be completed by August 2020.
At the sod-cutting ceremony at Ogoli to round up his two-day tour of the Volta Region, President Akufo-Addo commended the chiefs and the people of the town for their support for the national project, adding that it would revolutionise the economy of Ogoli and also change the town and the region at large.
“Procurement is ongoing and if everything goes on smoothly, the strategic partner to construct a rail line to join Ghana and Burkina Faso will be chosen next year,” he announced.
The Tema-Ouagadougou railway line, President Akufo-Addo said, would go through Volta, Oti, Northern, North East, and Upper East regions and would afford the country the opportunity to make a great deal out of its iron ore deposit.
President Akufo-Addo said already the government had set up a public corporation that would be responsible for mobilising resources to exploit and develop the iron ore deposit.
The railway line, he noted, would make development more feasible and efficient.
“More projects are going to be initiated and commenced next year,” he said and commended the contractors for their zeal to complete the project within time.
The Minister of Railway Development, Mr Joe Ghartey, said it had taken the country 125 years to bring railway lines to the Volta Region following the introduction of railway by the colonial masters and which, in his opinion, had taken too long.
He described the project as “a Ghana Project” which needed the support of all key stakeholders to make it a reality.
Mr Ghartey said the President’s vision to bring development to every part of the country had led to certain proposals, including a multi-million dollar container port at Mpakadan and a railway city at Juapong.
Textile industry to return
The President and his entourage also interacted with the management and staff of the Volta Star Textile Company at Juapong, where he gave an assurance that his government would return the textile industry to its former glory and make it competitive on the market once again.
President Akufo-Addo said the government would do everything possible to make the company viable for it to expand and employ more people. “You have to work very closely with my government to achieve this,” he stated.
On the Ghana Beyond Aid agenda, the President called for the support of all Ghanaians to make Ghana self-reliant and not dependent on charity from foreigners.