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FACT: 2021 Auditor General’s Report confirms NPP's flagbearer aspirant Joe Ghartey's position on Sky Train

Politics

11 months ago
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Independent investigations conducted on the payment of US$2m for the Accra Sky Train Project reveals that it was paid by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and not the Ministry of Railways Development under the then Minister, Hon. Joe Ghartey.

The 2021 Auditor Generals' report clearly confirms Hon. Ghartey's position that he never authorized payment or paid any money to AI Sky for the Accra Sky Train Project.

Some propagandists have been working tirelessly to unjustifiably tarnish the image of Hon. Ghartey. But the 2021 Auditor Generals report is clear, Hon. Ghartey did not authorize any payment nor did he pay any  money for the Sky Train Project.

According to the Auditor General's Report, " Report of the Auditor-General on the Public Accounts of Ghana - Public Boards, Corporations and Other Statutory Institutions for the Period ending 31 December 2021, it was the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund that paid the $2 million to acquire shares in the AI Sky Train Consortium. 

Holding and not Hon. Ghartey or the Ministry of Railways Development.

The said Auditor-Generals Report also confirmed in paragraph 924 that the project was designed as a Design, Build, Finance and Operate arrangement as has always been maintained by Hon Ghartey.

Joe Ghartey said he made it clear to the promoters of the project from the beginning that the Ministry of Railways Development would not invest in the over US$2 billion project.

The decision to invest in the project was taken by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund a statutory corporation which is not under the Ministry of Railways Development. Section 90 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) states that the governing body of a public corporation or state-owned enterprise shall establish and maintain policies, procedures, risk management and internal control systems, and Governance and management practices to ensure that public corporation or state-owned enterprise manages its resources prudently and operates efficiently in accordance with the objectives for which the public corporation or state-owned enterprise was established.

According to the Auditor-Generals Report, Africa Investor Holdings Limited incorporated a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on December 11, 2018, in the Republic of Mauritius for purposes of establishing Ghana Sky Train Limited to develop the Accra Sky Train Project through a concession on Design, Build, Finance and Operate arrangement.

The report said the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund paid US$2 million on February 25, 2019, to Africa Investor Holdings Limited as full consideration for 10 ordinary shares at US$1.00 per share in AI Sky Train Consortium Holdings (the SPV), adding that "thus the premium paid for each share was US$199.999. The SPV reported a net liability for the year December 31, 2020.

The Auditor Generals Report  urged the management of Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund "to continue to monitor the Feasibility and the recoverability of the investment in the SPV and make the necessary provisions based on the outcome of the feasibility studies."

Hon. Ghartey had stated in an interview that he had 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 said he welcomed the project as a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) Proje

In 2019, he said the Ministry signed a concession agreement with the promoters which included several conditions precedent. These conditions precedent including agreement on final Bills of Quantities and Technical Specifications, approval by Cabinet, approval by Parliament, approval by the Ministry of Finance, and conduct of a Value for Money Audit, among other conditions that had to be satisfied before the concession agreement took effect.

Joe Ghartey stated categorically that at no time did he pay any money to AI Sky Train or authorize the payment of any money to it. The US2m  transaction was between Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and the investors, he said while clearing the air.

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$300m in various infrastructure projects. The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund is not an agency or statutory body. Joe Ghartey stated that it is not under the Ministry of Railways Development.

Joe Ghartey stated 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 but COVID and lockdowns both in South Africa and Ghana threw their program out of gear whilst he was Minister.