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General News Fri, 22 Nov 2019

No allocation made for Sky train project in 2020 budget – Agbodza

Ranking Member on the Roads and Transport Committee of Parliament, Governs Kwame Agbodza, is questioning the government’s means of funding the expected Accra Sky Train project.

Mr. Agbodza says though the Railway Minister, Joe Ghartey, has signed several memoranda to that effect, there is no money for the project.

Earlier this month, the government signed an agreement for the construction of the Accra SkyTrain Project on the sidelines of the African Investment Forum in South Africa.

The Member of Parliament for Adaklu says there is no master plan for the project.

“There is nothing in the budget to suggest that. Who wouldn’t like to have sky train? But where is the master plan and funding for it? The Minister has signed a lot of MoUs but have we seen him bring anything to Parliament? Nothing exists –that is the point. He is not being cynical; maybe the government doesn’t understand what it takes to build a railway line. It is hugely capital intensive that we can’t do with our budget. No investor is going to run to Ghana and invest millions of dollars in a railway without knowing when to recoup its investment. It is not as easy as that.”

He also advised the government to consider bringing the Railways Ministry under the Ministry of Transport as was the case before.

“I think the Railways Ministry shouldn’t even exist. That Ministry should be merged back to the Ministry of Transport. The same should be done to the Aviation Ministry. This is because the work there can be done by Deputy Ministers and Technocrats.”

The government had signed the Concession Agreement for the construction of the Accra SkyTrain Project.

The proposed initiative in Accra provides for the development of five routes, four of which are comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal, at the heart of Accra, at a newly developed Kwame Nkrumah circle, and one route that provides an intra-city commuter loop distribution service, also emanating from Circle.

The Project envisages a total track length across all routes of 194 kilometres.

It is expected to ease the increasing road traffic congestion in Accra and boost economic activities in the capital city Accra.

Sky train project: ‘Don’t be cynical, we are daring to be different’ – Joe Ghartey

The Minister for Railway Development, Mr. Joe Ghartey has said that the cynicism the project has been met with, won’t deter his ministry’s resolve to ensure the Skyline project is realised in the best interest of Ghanaians.

According to him, Government is not paying for the feasibility of the project, but only liaising with other Government agencies to grant the company behind the Sky train project access to complete its feasibility studies for the project.

Mr. Ghartey likened the project to the building of the Akosombo dam by Ghana’s First President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah adding that, the dam was met with the same level of cynicism.

“Everything starts with an idea. When Kwame Nkrumah started Akosombo, they said it was a dream. We dare to be different. What it is, is that we are still going to negotiate in the best interest of Ghanaians,” he said.

Source: citinewsroom.com
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