Claim: Social Media users claim Tema-Akosombo railway line is a John Mahama project.
Verdict: The erstwhile John Mahama administration secured $398.33m from Exim Bank for design and construction of an 84km railway between Tema and Akosombo but did not begin construction before exiting power.
The Tema-Mpakadan railway begins from Tema in the Greater Accra Region through Afienya, North Tongu District in the Volta Region, Manya Krobo and terminates at Mpakadan, a few kilometers from Akosombo.
It is a part of the 1000 km rail connection between Ghana and Burkina Faso. The project is expected to link Ghana, from Tema, to Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou.
The project which is near completion has since its start sparked a battle between the two main political parties as to whose legacy it is. The recent confusion, however, was triggered after a recent inspection conducted by the minister for railway development, John Peter Amewu, was shared on his social media handle and again after an interview on the progress of work on the project, granted by Mr Gupta Asim, Head of Legal, Afcons Infrastructure Limited, conducted by the Ghana News Agency two months ago Widely shared by activists, New Patriotic Party affiliate and Blog pages.
How it started:
It all started prior to election 2020 when images of President Akufo-Addo’s visit to the project site in December 2019 was widely shared on social media credited to the government.
Sympathizers of the NDC did not take this kindly as they argued the project is a John Mahama legacy that was initiated by him.
“This is a JM project that is being supervised by NPP Government. God bless JM,” a party activist shared to a Sammy Gyamfi group page on Facebook.
Dubawa has delved into the details of the project and here are the facts.
In November 2016, Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) allocated $398.33m for design and construction of an 84km railway between Tema in the Greater Accra region and the Lake Volta port of Akosombo.
Further checks by Dubawa revealed that indeed former president John Mahama’s through the then Finance Minister, Mr Seth Tekper secured funding for the project.
The idea to construct the railway, according to information available on the presidency website, was conceived in 2007 as a “port to port project” under the Kuffour era. As a result, in 2007, a contract was signed for a feasibility study to be conducted for a Tema to Buipe multimodal transport system via Akosombo.
However, the construction was scheduled to begin early 2017.
In April 2017, the Akufo-Addo government commenced construction of the project.
Mr Asim, Head of Legal, for the construction company – Afcons Infrastructure Limited, has said the project is four months ahead of the originally scheduled date in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and its challenges. The former Minister for Railways Development, Joe Ghartey, had assured the project would be completed in August 2020
Funding for the project was secured by the erstwhile John Mahama administration, but the project was started by the Akufo-Addo government.
By Nana Yaa Nyarko