Government abandoned the Sky Train project as a result of Covid-19 – Joe Ghartey

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Joe Ghartey, a Former Minister of Railways, has blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for the government’s incapacity to move forward with the Sky train project.

In order to facilitate the development of the Accra Sky Train Project through a Design, Build, Finance, and Operate arrangement, Africa Investor Holdings Limited formed the Ghana Sky Train Limited in 2018 and incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle in Mauritius.

It was disclosed that 10 common shares in the Special Purpose Vehicle were purchased by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund for $2 million.

The transaction was classified as a net liability in the 2021 report from the Auditor General.

The Covid-19 pandemic was the reason behind the investors’ withdrawal, according to Joe Ghartey, the Member of Parliament for Esikado Ketan in the Western Region, who was speaking with JoyNews’ Evans Mensah.

“The South Africans pulled pout after Covid. What they wrote to me was that because of Covid, the things have changed, they can’t come. That is what they wrote to me, that we have to wait,” he said.

On the question of whether the project was worth resuming, the MP indicated that it is “up to the government.”

“It depends on how much money you have, it also depends on whether the people are prepared to do it,” he stated.

Joe Ghartey, the former minister of railway development, has refuted reports that the ministry he oversaw paid a Mauritius-based company $2 million as part of the Accra Sky Train project.

He was adamant that the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund was the one who made the payment.

The government was sharply criticized by the Minority in Parliament for paying Africa Investor Holdings Limited $2 million for the Accra Sky Train Project without receiving the necessary parliamentary and public procurement approvals.

Governs Kwame Agbodza, the Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, spoke on behalf of the Minority and insisted that the money be returned to the government’s coffers.  He claimed that the board and management of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) had made a decision that was illegal because it violated Article 181 of the Constitution, which states that any government body wishing to engage in business with a foreign organization must obtain approval from Parliament.

It was disclosed in the 2021 Auditor General’s report that the government invested about $2 million in the Sky Train initiative.

The policy is still in the draft stage, according to the Auditor General’s assessment of the risk management for the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

Source: Ghanatodayonline.com

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