The Railways Development Minister John Peter-Amewu says government has not signed any contract with a concessionaire to construct a sky train.
According to him, what has been signed is a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
He made this known on Wednesday while addressing the press on steps taken by government to revitalise the railway system.
“Contracts have not been signed. What has been done within the framework is to sign an MoU. An MoU, of course, is not a contract, and largely it is not even binding.
“So though an MoU is in place, what it has allowed the Ministry to do is to put in measures how the project will be executed,” he said.
Mr Peter-Amewu further stressed the inability of government to construct a sky train in the next three to four years, as indicated.
He said current information on Ghana’s debt shows that it cannot incur a cost of about $12 billion to see the construction of the project.
However, the country can construct a sky train to address its debt issues in the long run.
The Hohoe MP noted that government must be candid on what is feasible and what is not to the ordinary Ghanaian.
“I was on record to have stated categorically that is it not possible within three years to complete the sky train. Yes, I am repeating that it is not possible. If it had to be done today, it is about $11 to12 billion per kilometre. Constructing a sky train is not like building a road. So if you consider three years, it is not possible. Sometimes we need to be very honest and objective.
“Today, we are all aware the current problem of the Covid-19 has put all countries over the world. So government’s ability to absorb debt in funding a project of $12 billion is not possible within the next three years,” he stated.
Mr Peter Amewu was, however, quick to add that the narrative can be overturned if citizens come together to support the project by paying taxes.
This, he said, will ensure government has the needed revenue to cover the cost of the project.
“Government gets its resources from citizens. We, the citizens, are the development agents, and the only way government funds its projects is through levies or taxes.
“So today, if you all agree as a country that we aggressively have to tackle our infrastructure project in terms of the railway and we are prepared to contribute to that, that can be done as quickly as possible.”
He added that “Infrastructure projects all over the world are funded by the citizens. So if we decided today that we are prepared to do a lot more infrastructure projects, we can do it.”