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Why Ghana cancelled rail MoU with China

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Ghanaian Minister of Railways Development, Joe Ghartey,
says he has cancelled the Memorandum of Understanding with the China Railway
Construction Corporation (International) Nigeria Limited (CRCC-Nigeria) “for
breach of confidentiality.”

He was dismissing an online publication with the
headline ‘CRCC to construct 560km railway line for $2bn – same cost as 156KM
Lagos -Ibadan rail’.

Ghartey, in a statement on Monday, said the publication
contained factual inaccuracies.
He acknowledged that CRCC-Nigeria expressed interest in
supporting the ministry to develop and modernize Ghana’s railway network,
particularly the Trans-ECOWAS line, which runs along the coast between Aflao,
on the border with Togo, and Elubo on the border with Cote d’Ivoire.

He said the purpose of the MoU was for CRCC-Nigeria to undertake feasibility
studies through the use of independent consultants.

“CRCC-Nigeria has not submitted any report of the
feasibility studies to the Ministry of Railways Development, let alone the
project cost estimate.”
He also said the ministry had not received any offer
from CRCC-Nigeria for the construction of the proposed Aflao-Elubo railway
Ghartey said his ministry was yet to respond to a
proposal by CRCC to establish assembly plants for the building of locomotive
coaches and wagons.
“The Ministry of Railways Department therefore does not
intend to proceed with the relationship between the two parties as established
by the non-binding MoU,” he stated.
Reacting to the report, the minister under whose watch
Nigeria’s railway construction was revived, Rotimi Amaechi, said the railway
project had been handled very transparently and he wondered why anyone would
rather publish falsehood in that regard.

He pointed to the fact that the railway project was
started by the Obasanjo’s Administration, while the Buhari-led Administration
only took off from where the project was abandoned, and now being done in phases.
Amaechi said:“I am surprised that TheCable News and its publisher whom I respect a lot could publish this
falsehood.  They know there is no truth in the allegation. The Ghanaian
minister has disowned the story.  He has said it’s all fiction.  And
when I asked him (the minister) how the story emanated, the same Cable claimed
the Ghanaian minister is under pressure to deny the story. 
I don’t understand this
kind of journalism.  How does my asking the source of the story translate
to pressurising the minister to discredit the story? Our activities on the rail
project have been verily open and transparent

Report with additional information from Daily Trust.

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