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Joe Ghartey clears air over $2m paid for botched Accra Sky Train

The former Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has debunked claims that the Ministry made a $2 million payment to a company in Mauritius as part of the Accra Sky Train project.

Joe Ghartey

He said that the money was instead paid by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF).

His reactions come after the Minority in Parliament called on the government to refund the $2 million paid for the Accra Sky Train project.

Speaking on behalf of the Minority, the Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee, Governs Kwame Agbodza, demanded that the amount is paid back into the government's coffers.

He said the decision of the board and management of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) was an illegality as it breached Article 181 of the Constitution which required that any government entity that intended to enter into an economic venture with an international organisation must seek approval from Parliament.

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The 2021 Auditor General's report has revealed that the government spent some $2 million on the Sky Train project.

The Auditor General said after an assessment of the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) risk management, it revealed that the policy is still in the draft stage.

The report said the feasibility studies which will better inform the project economics and required approvals from the Cabinet of Ghana and the Parliament of Ghana are still not conclusive.

Africa Investor Holdings Limited incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) in 2018 in Mauritius for the purposes of establishing Ghana Sky Train Limited to develop the Accra Sky Train Project through a concession on design, build, finance, and operate arrangement.

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In 2019, the government of Ghana and (Ai) Sky Train Consortium of South Africa signed the much anticipated Accra Sky Train project, which is a fully automated, highly efficient, and extremely cost-effective public mass transit system that will use air propulsion technology to drive lightweight, high passenger volume vehicles.

But Joe Ghartey said the Minority members are only broadcasting propaganda.

In an interview on Accra-based Citi FM, he explained that it is the GIIF that made the payments adding that the Minority can get the answers it is seeking from the GIIF.

"It is the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund that paid the money and the Fund is mandated to make such payments and so if the Minority wants anyone to refund the money, they should tell the Auditor General to ask the Fund to refund the money," he said.

He emphasized that the South African company that was supposed to execute the project was to come back to Ghana, but the outbreak of COVID-19 prevented that from happening, and that was how his engagement with the South Africans ended on the project, with no payment discussions.

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