It was an uncontrollable show of joy and appreciation when the President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, indicated that he was going to instruct the Finance Minister, Dr. Kwabena Duffour, to release a lump sum of money for the payment of salary arrears to railway workers.
The move, the President explained, is to serve as a stop-gap measure for the salary arrears of workers of the once vibrant sector, who, for lack of funds, have not been paid for almost four months.
Mr. Mahama, who gave the indication at the famous ‘Bottom Tree,’ located within the Western Railway yard at Sekondi last Friday, as part of his campaign tour of the Western Region, noted that the move is to help arrest the situation of salary delay and arrears which arise because the company is unable to raise funds from internal sources to pay the railway workers for some time now.
He further explained that the issues of salary arrears for months has arisen due to the careful timing of the Ministry of Finance to calculate the wage bill for the workers to be able to pay them after the internally generated funds of the company is unable to cover the over 2,000 workers of the company.
In his words, this will remove the bottlenecks in order to allow for workers to receive their salaries at the end of every month.
At the same function, the President assured the workers of the government’s plans of revamping the railway sector, which are enshrined in the China Development Bank loans, which will see to the construction of the western railway line, saying the procurement for the take-off of the project is near completion for the start of the Sekondi-to-Kojokrom railway line.
He said the future for the railway is bright and expressed the hope that in no time the sector will return to its glory where the government will install more railway lines and not sell them as it was the case in the recent past.
The heroine for the payment of salaries, as indentified by the railway workers at the function, was the deputy minister of Transport, Madam Dzifa Attivor, who was said to have personally intervened for the payment of salaries.
Source: The Enquirer