Joe Ghartey, Minister for Railway Development

The Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, has explained why the government’s intent to build an elevated train [sky train] in the country has not materialised.

According to him, the South African company, Africa Investment (Ai) SkyTrain Consortium has not done the second feasibility study for the sky train project in Accra.

The agreement for the project was signed in 2019 to solve the ever-increasing road traffic congestion in Accra.

This is part of the government’s efforts to accelerate economic activities, especially in the capital which is now choked with a lot of human and vehicular traffic.

However, almost a year after the agreement was signed, nothing has happened and government is being criticised for it.

Setting the records straight on Asempa FM’s Ekosii Sen programme Wednesday, Mr Ghartey said the delay is to ensure due diligence.

He explained that after they signed the consensual agreement in 2018, the company wanted the contract for 30 years – a proposal government rejected.

The Railway Minister said government, therefore, requested the company to submit the final bill of quantity before it can award the contract.

But, just when they were working on it, Mr Ghartey said the COVID-19 pandemic broke and the South African investors could not come to Ghana with their bill of quantities.

“I will not sign any major contract few months to elections and if they come without the bill of quantity and it does not go for value for money audit, I will not sign. I’m a lawyer with over three years practice so when I see any contract, I look at it well,” he stated.

The Railway Minister indicated that there is no cause for alarm if the company does not return because many others from France and China have expressed interest in building sky trains in Ghana.

Mr Ghartey was confident in the next four years, if the government decides to build a sky train in Accra, it can be done.

“Ghanaians should all be patient; within three years we will move from the Old Testament to the New Testament,” he promised.