Ghana’s Ministry of Railways Development in Accra has pulled out of the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed in March 2019 with the China Railway Construction Corporation (international) Nigeria Limited on account of alleged breach of confidentiality.
The sudden withdrawal from the MoU , it was gathered, was triggered by a popular online publication (name withheld) which claimed: “CRCC to construct 560km railway line for $2bn , same cost as 156KM Lagos –Ibadan rail.”
The Ghanaian authority was infuriated by the publication, claiming it had not signed any contract with CRCC-Nigeria on rail project, thereby calling off any MoU it had with the latter.
In a letter signed by Ghana’s Minister of Railways Development , Mr. Joe Ghartey, and addressed to the Managing Director of CRCC-Nigeria, he decried the media publication, saying it contained “a lot of factual inaccuracies”.
Besides, he said the picture attached to the publication was from an event that was not related in any way with engagement with CRCC-Nigeria, represented by its Managing Director, Mr. Dou Yisup.
For these infractions, Ghartey said the Ghanaian authority did not want to proceed with the relationship between the parties as established by the non-binding MoU.
The MoU was signed by officials of both Ghanaian’s Ministry of Railway Departments and Messrs CRCC.
Ghartey said it was true that Messrs 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.
According to Ghartey, the purpose of the MoU was for CRCC-Nigeria to undertake feasibility studies through the use of independent consultants, adding that the company was responsible for verifying the project cost as estimated by the feasibility studies and also raised capital to finance the project.
Up till now, the minister said CRCC-Nigeria has not submitted any report, let alone state the project cost.
He said: “CRCC-Nigeria has not submitted any report of the feasibility studies to the Ministry of Railways Development, let alone the project cost estimate.’’
He added that the ministry has not received any offer from CRCC-Nigeria for the construction of the proposed Aflao-Elubo railway line and that it is yet to respond to a proposal by CRCC to establish assembly plants for the building of locomotive coaches and wagons.
The Ghanaian’s Minister of Railways Department indicted CRCC-Nigeria, stating that as a party to the MOU, it has failed to act in good faith, having breached the confidentiality clause as spelt out by the MOU.
On the confidentiality clause, he said : “Each party agrees that the terms of MoU and all previous and subsequent discussions, documents and information exchanged pursuant to or otherwise related hereto will be treated in confidence and will not be disclosed except as required by law and otherwise.”
“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.”