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Sky Train delayed because South Africa is on lockdown – Minister

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The Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey has denied ever telling Ghanaians that Ghana Sky Train will be ready in August 2020

It would be recalled that the concession agreement for the construction of the Accra Sky Train Project was signed on the sidelines of the ongoing African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The signing of the agreement meant feasibility studies, spanning a period of nine months to determine the bankability of the project were going to commence, with the investors assuring that the first station for the Accra Sky Train project will be opened in 9 months.

At the signing ceremony on Monday, November 11, 2018, President Akufo-Addo described it as “a happy day for Ghana and her good people”, adding that it is a “critical step towards the consummation of this project”, and a vivid testimony of the value of the African Investment Forum.

The President thanked the SkyTrain Consortium for putting together the wherewithal that is allowing this project to go forward.

The Accra Sky Train, according to him, “is meeting an important infrastructural need, and hopefully the step that is being taken today, that is signing the concession agreement, is bringing the project to much nearer conclusion. That is what we are hoping for so that the people of Ghana benefit from the progress and the relief that a modern system of transport in our capital city is going to bring.”

But after several months of signing the contract with no work seen to be done, the Railway Minister. Joe Ghartey said he has not said anywhere that the project will be ready in August 2020.

The Minister who was speaking on the sidelines of the Town Hall Meeting held at the Academy of Arts on Tuesday said the project is a private-sector owned project with no government funding.

“The project is not funded by the government it’s a 100% private sector owned project. We signed it in South Africa when we signed it, they first approached us in 2018 we signed an MoU then we signed the contract in November in South Africa. I’ve seen people put on social media we said the first sky train will come in August. Have they seen the contract, did I say that, where did I say that? Some people have set their own questions and marking schemes and are marking it. I mean sky train, people think it’s going to be a train flying in the air, no no no…It’s just a train on a bridge. When you go to Sekondi Takoradi, we have created that bridge for a train for 350 KM. This is a lighter train so it will be a lighter bridge.”

It’s a 100% foreign-owned project BOT. The people would have to come to town to complete their feasibility and then we can agree on the terms and certain condition precedent once they do that it will be signed and they will go on. If we haven’t agreed on a condition precedent like going to Parliament so if we don’t finish we can’t start. The people are in lockdown in South Africa and that’s what they tell me and I know it…should I fly them to Accra? Is it possible? When they tell me that we are in COVID and they are in lockdown.”


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