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 line.

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.