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Filthy Accra awaits her first sky train station - shall we hold our breath?

Wed, 5 Aug 2020 Source: Ekow Arthur-Aidoo

Ghana awaits its first Sky Train station.

Officials promised the skies of the capital Accra will be lit with a glorious flying metal sheet in the month of August 2020 - this very month.

The promises were reminiscent of Sylvester Stallone asking the driver of the sky train to stop so he could get down in the middle of skyscrapers in the movie Assassins, co-starring Antonio Banderas and Julianne Moore.

The promises came after the concession agreement signed between the government of Ghana and Sky Train during an African Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa in November 2019.

Well, from November to August is nine months, a perfect gestation period for a human pregnancy, so who were we mere mortals to doubt that.

At least not when Joe Ghartey, the minister for Railways Development, who has also served as a leader on the majority front bench in Parliament, attorney-general, shuffled between countless cabinet meetings both within the Osu Castle and Jubilee House, and served as MP in a region littered with railway lines, all with nothing to show to the people of Essikado-Ketan, his and my constituency.

But who are we mere mortals to not hope against hope? What else could we have done but wait...whether we chose to exhale or not?

The Accra Sky Train, a 194-kilometre project, when opened - hopefully this month because afterall it is a gift of the gods dropping from the sky - will provide the development of five routes.

Four of the routes comprise radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal; at the heart of Accra; Kwame Nkrumah interchange; and one route that provides an intra-city commuter loop distribution service, also emanating from Kwame Nkrumah Interchange. Oh la la!

At the signing ceremony on Monday, November 11, 2019, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo described the Accra Sky Train project 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 Accra Sky Train, Akufo-Addo said, “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.”

Even the president who is 75 years, still has hopes in Ghana, and in his own words, and in his hirelings - who are we mere mortals to prevent being detractors and “naysayers”?

Many opposition party supporters have described the project as “a scam” by the incumbent NPP administration because since the contract was signed in November 2019, there has been nothing to show whether or not the project will come on.

But we, mere mortals in the journalism profession are only to report with balance and fairness. We dare not express our opinion based on facts…..and trend analysis.

Not even when Joe Ghartey has been our MP for 16 years, lest we make Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, the incumbent party’s chief apologist, “a little hurt”, and he adds us to his list of persons who “choose to stay negative even if under the guise of fifth gear cruising neutrality”.

The author is a journalist, communications and media analyst and a writer. The views expressed are solely his and does not represent the organisation he works for.

Email: paanyan7@gmail.com

Blog: ekowrites.blogspot.com

Twitter: @eArthurAidoo

Columnist: Ekow Arthur-Aidoo

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