Independent investigations into the payment of US$2 million for the Accra Sky Train Project have revealed that the payment was made by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, not the Ministry of Railways Development under former Minister, Hon. Joe Ghartey.
Despite efforts by propagandists to tarnish Hon. Ghartey's image unjustifiably, the Auditor General's report supports his innocence.
According to the 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,” the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund made the $2 million payment to acquire shares in the AI Sky Train Consortium Holdings, and not Hon. Ghartey or the Ministry of Railways Development.
Additionally, the report affirms in paragraph 924 that the project was designed as a Design, Build, Finance, and Operate arrangement, as Hon. Ghartey had always maintained.
Hon. Ghartey clarified that from the project's inception, he had made it clear that the Ministry of Railways Development would not invest in the over US$2 billion project. The decision to invest was made by the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund, a statutory corporation that does not fall under the Ministry of Railways Development.
Section 90 of the Public Financial Management Act, 2016 (Act 921) also supports the separation of decision-making and investments between the Ministry and the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund.
The Auditor General's Report further revealed that Africa Investor Holdings Limited established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) on December 11, 2018, in Mauritius to create Ghana Sky Train Limited for the Accra Sky Train Project. The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund paid US$2 million on February 25, 2019, for 10 ordinary shares in the SPV, at US$1.00 per share.
Hon. Ghartey, during an interview, stated that he welcomed the project as a Build, Operate, and Transfer (BOT) arrangement. He emphasized that the Ministry signed a concession agreement with the promoters, subject to several conditions precedent, which needed to be fulfilled before the concession agreement took effect.
In response to the false allegations, Hon. Ghartey reiterated that he never paid any money to AI Sky Train or authorized such payment. The transaction of US$2 million was between the Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund and the investors, clarifying his position.
The Ghana Infrastructure Investment Fund was established to mobilize, manage, coordinate, and provide financial resources for investment in various infrastructure projects in Ghana. Hon. Ghartey emphasized that it is not an agency or statutory body under the Ministry of Railways Development.
Due to COVID-19 and lockdown disruptions in South Africa and Ghana, the investors' technical team was unable to complete the full feasibility and final bill of quantities as planned in 2020 while Hon. Ghartey was serving as Minister.