Minister for Railways Development, John Peter Amewu has revealed that the incumbent government will not be able to provide Ghanaians sky trains as earlier indicated.
According to him, even in a few years to come, this project cannot be implemented because it requires a significant amount of capital and government does not have the fiscal space to absorb such a facility.
“Rail construction takes a lot of time and it is also capital intensive. A kilometre of a railway line is about four to five times the cost of building a concrete infrastructure in terms of building an asphaltic road. So considering the fiscal space that we have in the country, facilities to absorb it is becoming problematic for the government and you know our current debt to GDP which is in excess of 70%.
“The sky train that we are talking about is the one that is going to run on columns in the sky like the ones you see in Dubai but no agreement has been signed,” he said on Adabraka-based Citi TV.
He, therefore, stated that “it is not possible to be done now. I don’t see any sky train being done in the next 3 to 4 years. There is not going to be any sky train in the country. It is not possible.”
Earlier this year, the Minister for Transport, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah during the ministerial vetting process indicated that processes are still ongoing for government to construct the sky train project as a means of transport in the country.
At his vetting on Tuesday, February 23, Mr Asiamah told the Appointments Committee chaired by Chairman Joseph Osei Owusu that his office together with Railways Ministry had engaged various prospective developers who had expressed interest in constructing the project.
He added that copies of the contract had been sent to the Attorney-General’s Department awaiting a reply.
“For the proposal that we have received, we have sent it to the Attorney-General for the department to look at it and advise us on how we should engage them.
“So yes, there are prospective developers who are waiting for us but we must be sure that we are on the side of law first. So that is where we are now,” he stated.
He partly blamed the Covid-19 pandemic for delaying the processes to construct Ghana’s first-ever sky train.
Government in the year 2019, signed an agreement for the construction of the Accra SkyTrain Project on the sidelines of the African Investment Forum in South Africa.
The agreement was signed by former Minister for Railway Development, Joe Ghartey.
To take place in Accra, the project was to provide five routes, four of which are comprised of radial routes that originate at the proposed SkyTrain Terminal, the Kwame Nkrumah Circle, and one route that provides an intra-city commuter loop distribution service from Circle.
Consequently, the Ghana Railway Development Authority revealed that feasibility studies for the sky-train project had been completed.