Hon. Joe Ghartey, a former minister of railway development and presidential candidate for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has categorically claimed that he never gave any money to AI Sky or gave his approval for the payment of US$ 2 million to finance the Accra Sky Train Project.
Hon. Ghartey, who has served Ghana for many years with a high degree of integrity, has stated that the Auditor-General Report made it abundantly clear that it was the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund that purchased shares in the foreign company that had contacted the Ministry of Railways Development with an offer to develop an elevated metro tram system for Accra, which was anticipated to cost US2.6 billion. This contrasts the propaganda being done to tarnish his hard-earned reputation.
In an interview, Joe Ghartey said that he had made it known to the Accra Sky Train Project supporters right away that his Ministry lacked the funding necessary for the project.
However, he claimed that he welcomed the initiative as a build, operate, and transfer (BOT) project.
A Memorandum of Understanding and an Agreement were signed between the Ministry of Railways Development and the promoters in February 2018 and November 2018, respectively, according to Hon. Ghartey, the Member of Parliament for the Essikado-Ketan Constituency.
He claimed that in 2019, the Ministry and the promoters signed a concession agreement containing several prerequisites. Other requirements to be met before the concession deal went into effect were approvals from the Cabinet, the Parliament, the Ministry of Finance, and conducting a Value for Money Audit.
Joe Ghartey was adamant that he never gave any money to AI Sky Train or gave his permission for any money to be given to it. He clarified the situation by saying that the US$2 million transaction was between the investors and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund.
A diverse portfolio of infrastructure projects in Ghana will be funded by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, which was established to mobilize, administer, coordinate, and provide financial resources for such investments. It has put nearly $300 million into different infrastructure initiatives. The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund is not a governmental organization or an agency. According to Joe Ghartey, the Ministry of Railways Development does not govern it.
According to Joe Ghartey, the investors were scheduled to arrive in Ghana with their technical team in the third quarter of 2019 to complete the full feasibility and final bill of quantities in 2020. Still, COVID and lockdowns in South Africa and Ghana caused their program to fall behind while he was Minister.