The Minority Chief Whip, Governs Agbodza, has called on the Auditor General to demand a refund of some $2 million from government to a firm in Mauritius, Africa Investor Holdings Limited, for the Accra Sky Train Project.
According to him, the payment of such an amount of money was a wrong move. He criticized government for failing to do due diligence and without recourse to parliamentary and the requisite public procurement approvals.
“It was wrong to take any decision to pay that money and so who authorized the payment in terms of the so-called feasibility and which normal entity pays out $2 million for a feasibility study before the project is determined whether it is bankable? So, these things only happen when there is organized crime [and] when people are careless and reckless. I think the minimum the Auditor General can do is to call for a refund of the $2 million.”Governs Agbodza
Mr Agbodza revealed he has made this call in the past that this is not an “ambiguous situation”. He explained that as at the time that the $2 million was paid, there was not valid contract between Ghana and any entity.
“Before the company even started feasibility studies, someone in government had decided to pay $2 million to this entity and somewhere this year, Joe Ghartey said he has never said the government was going to fund the sky train project, and I am not sure he was reading what he had written because what was the $2 million meant for?”Governs Agbodza
Government engaged in reckless public expenditure
Furthermore, Mr Agbodza stated that government has also invested over $20 million dollars in terms of equity into the Accra City Pullman Hotel project without any work on-site for almost two years now.
Addressing the media in Parliament, Mr Agbodza expressed that the government is engaged in reckless public expenditure, further demanding an investigation into such losses. He questioned the processes that went on before such an authorization was made for the payment to be made.
“The Auditor General report said the company didn’t have the license to operate the system that it wanted to operate and so the question is: what was the reason for the government to give the company the money and who gave the directive for the payment?”Governs Agbodza
The minority chief whip contended that the $2 million paid by government to these entities could have been used to address internal matters such as the payment of school feeding programme arrears. Additionally, he noted that payment could equally be made to road contractors to complete road projects and GETFund as well.
Earlier this year, New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer aspirant, Joe Ghartey, dismissed media reports suggesting that he blamed the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government for the failure to fund and execute the Accra Sky Train Project.
Mr Gyartey, who was at the time of negotiation for the Sky Train Project the Minister of Railways Development, revealed that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s government was not to blame for the non-execution of the project.
According to him, the project was not to be funded by the government but rather by a Build Operate and Transfer agreement with investors.
However, he suggested that the project was halted by lockdowns in Ghana and South Africa at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. This, he explained, prevented the investors from meeting some conditions precedent for the project including conducting a full detailed study and costing.