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Former Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey has debunked claims that the ministry under his watch made a $2 million payment to a company in Mauritius as part of the Accra Sky Train project.
He insisted that the money was instead paid by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The Minority in Parliament strongly criticised the government for paying the $2 million to Africa Investor Holdings Limited, for the Accra Sky Train Project without parliamentary and the requisite public procurement approvals.
But Mr. Ghartey in an interview on Eyewitness News on Citi FM on Monday rejected the claims and said the Minority members are only broadcasting propaganda.
He explained that in projects such as that of the now-defunct sky train project, it is the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund (GIIF) that effects such payments, and therefore the Minority may want to 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 further 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.
“I went to South Africa in 2018 to make the presentation because the quality of life is affected by heavy traffic and then the South Africans came. The company went back and said they wanted a concession agreement of thirty years and I said it was not possible. The company went away and was supposed to come in 2020 and then there was COVID-19.”
“And so as far as my Ministry is concerned, we did not give them any money. I didn’t have any money and I didn’t have the power to pay any money and I did not pay any money. I don’t have the power to write for payment to the company in Mauritius. GIIF [Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund] is the statutory corporation that has the power to make such payments and so you can ask them.”