This is because, if an investment of such a magnitude is coming into the nation, then it is important that Ghanaians take interest and participate in it.
Indeed Mr Speaker, we are about to launch a community-based railway development project, where some of the workers who would be employed by the Ghana Railway Company Limited would be employed from the constituencies that the rail passes through.
Mr Speaker, we have also started preliminary talks with surrounding neighbouring countries. I can mention Burkina Faso which have sent us preliminary agreement. They seem to be even more excited than we are, that we are bringing the rails to Paga; and they intend, if we manage to agree to meet in Paga, so that they can also take advantage of our coming to Paga and bring the train down to Accra.
Mr Speaker, my Hon Colleague mentioned Tema-Akosombo. I would want to assure him that as far as the Constitution provides, we shall continue the projects that were started by the previous Government. But as he said, they are good projects; we shall enhance them.
Mr Speaker, this is because if we just cross the river, we can go to Akosombo, but if we just cross the river and go to the other side, about one kilometre into the other side, we could start the beginning of an industrial park in the Volta Region -- the Hon Member's region. It can be the beginning of an industrial park in the Volta Region.
Therefore, the railway line that goes from Tema to Akosombo will not just be carrying goods from Akosombo to Buipe. At the same time, it will also serve the
people of the Volta Region when they bring their goods. One kilometre into the Volta Region, we would have an industrial park and we would also have people going to settle there. This is because from there to Accra would be about 35 kilometres.
Mr Speaker, our old railway line was about nine hundred and forty (940) kilometres. Out of this, only 13 per cent of it is still operational. We shall make use of the 13 per cent. Some of this 13 per cent starts from Nsuta to Sekondi-Takoradi. In fact, that is today, the basis for the Railways Company's continuous existence. One thousand, four hundred and forty (1440) workers are depending on the fact that they draw raw materials -- manganese from Nsuta to Takoradi.
Mr Speaker, the reason we do not see anything such as internally generated funds (IGFs) is that, the Railways Company Limited is a limited liability company. So, what they get, they use it for the company. But indeed, for a long time, Government has been subsidising it.
Mr Speaker, I am happy to tell you and this House that within three months, the Ghana Railways Company Limited is self- sufficient. The workers are so happy that they have a Ministry and are working overtime. We have told them that this is our last chance. Those of us from the railway towns of Sekondi-Takoradi, we now have a Ministry and we must make the Ministry work.
As far as Tema and Nsawam are concerned, today, it is mainly used for passengers' traffic. Mr Speaker, the whole line, the wagons are so compromised that we must say that it is difficult for people who use it. Mr Speaker, by God's grace, we had a situation where a company which is in Nsawam is seeking to move boulders from Nsawam to Tema as part of the expansion of the Tema Harbour, which was started last year.
What this would do is that, it would give the Ghana Railways Company Limited money to strengthen the trucks. Mr Speaker, at the same time, we are in the process of inviting welders and workmen from Suame Magazine and Kokompe to enter into a competition to repair our wagons. Mr Speaker, to repair the wagons, in my view, is like repairing a vehicle. We would repair the outside and the inside and then we would also put the cushions and so on.
Mr Speaker, Takoradi to Paga must happen; we do not have a choice. The western line which goes from Takoradi to Kumasi is the most viable line in Ghana. It is our aim that we shall use Build-Operate and Transfer (BOT) to develop that line. It is the most viable line because as we speak, there are two mines on the line and there is also a very effective cocoa sector.
When the Tema-Akosombo line is completed, we would go on the water from Akosombo to Buipe. Mr Speaker—