Ghana Railways made an immeasurable contribution towards the attainment of the country’s independence in 1957.
It also contributed to the creation of a nation and an economy backed by the rail sector 64 years ago.
The idea to establish a railways sector in 1895 and port in the late 1920s made the Ghana Railways Corporation become the first corporate institution in the then Gold Coast, which gave birth to several other companies.
In spite of its part in the fight for independence and pioneering role in birthing many companies in the country, Ghana Railways is a pale shadow of itself and a former senior management staff of the then Ghana Railways Corporation has lamented the current poor state of the company.
The retired worker and former Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr Abaka Amoah, holds a strong view that railway workers and the company practically created and controlled every facet of the country’s economy before, during and after independence.
Those who crown kings
“We gave birth to the Ghana Water Company, Electricity Company of Ghana, Post and Telecommunication Corporation, Social Security and National Insurance Trust, Ghana Commercial Bank, Public Works Department, the Ghana Highways Authority, the Port of Takoradi and many others,” Mr Abaka stated.
He, however, lamented that after independence and the creation of the nation’s economy using railways 64 years on, the company (railways) was now in an impoverished state struggling to maintain its glory, even though it has more potentials than before.
This, he said, goes to confirm the saying that “those who crown kings don’t usually look like kings”.
The then railways corporation with all the companies it birthed and a well-motivated and well-paid staff with very strong unions became a vital tool for negotiating independence after the country’s first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, declared what is known as “Independence Now.”
The companies under the railways, Mr Amoah said, were responsible for running the economy and “at Sekondi, there was the first power generating unit that supplied power to the bungalows and various key administrative offices”.He explained that later there was the need to extend power, water and postal services to the communities, therefore, there was the need to create those departments separately under the railways’ control to enable it satisfy the growing demands and “today we have ECG, Ghana Water, Post Office, banks and many others – they all came from us.”Through the railways again the idea was mooted to construct a […]