Former Minister of Railways Development and New Patriotic Party Presidential aspirant for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Hon. Joe Ghartey, emphatically denies having paid any money to AI Sky or authorizing the payment of US$2 million to fund the Accra Sky Train Project.
Contrary to the propaganda aimed at tarnishing his hard-won reputation, Hon. Ghartey, who has served Ghana with a high degree of integrity for several years, clarifies that the Auditor-General’s Report clearly indicates that it was the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund that acquired shares in the foreign company that approached the Ministry of Railways Development with an offer to develop an elevated metro tram system for Accra, envisaged to cost US$2.6 billion.
In an interview, Joe Ghartey stated that he made it clear from the beginning to the promoters of the Accra Sky Train Project that his Ministry did not have the budget for the proposed project.
However, he welcomed the project as a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Project.
According to Hon. Ghartey, the Member of Parliament for Essikado-Ketan Constituency, the Ministry of Railways Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2018 and another Agreement with the promoters in November 2018.
In 2019, the Ministry signed a concession agreement with the promoters, subject to several conditions precedent, including approval by Cabinet, approval by Parliament, approval by the Ministry of Finance, and conduct of a Value for Money Audit, among others, that needed to be satisfied before the concession agreement took effect.
Joe Ghartey categorically denies having paid any money to AI Sky Train or authorizing any payment to it. He clarifies that the US$2 million transaction was between Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and the investors.
The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund was established to mobilize, manage, coordinate, and provide financial resources for investment in a diversified portfolio of infrastructure projects in Ghana.
It has invested over US$300 million in various infrastructure projects. Joe Ghartey clarifies that it is not an agency or statutory body under the Ministry of Railways Development.
He further explains that in the third quarter of 2019, the concession agreement was signed in South Africa, and the investors were supposed to come to Ghana with their technical team to complete the full feasibility and final bill of quantities in 2020.
However, due to COVID and lockdowns in both South Africa and Ghana, their program was disrupted while he was serving as Minister.