A former Finance Minister, Seth Terkper has raise concerns over government’s decision to facilitate the construction of the National Cathedral with public funds without Parliamentary approval.

According to him, the government’s expenditure on the project is against the spirit of the Public Financial Management Act.

For the past one week, the North Tongue MP, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has accused the government of siphoning public funds to facilitate a project it propagated as a personal and private pledge.

So far, the North Tongu MP has put out documents showing that an amount to the tune of GH₵ 200 million has been dished out for the construction of the project.

These monies, he said, were dished out without recourse to parliamentary processes or strict public procurement practices.

But Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta has rejected the claims.

In an interview with the state broadcaster, Mr. Ofori-Atta said just a little portion of government’s annual budget has been spent on the National Cathedral.

“Government has spent about GH¢ 30 billion in terms of our expenditure. I think this year, we’ve spent at least GH¢ 25 million on the National Cathedral, which is one-thousandth [of the budget],” he stated.

However, Mr Terkper is not buying the explanation.

Speaking exclusively to JoyNews, the Finance Expert said the move is wrong.

“It is only Parliament that can pass the Appropriation Act and looking at the appendix, where the appropriation is made to the various Ministries and others, you will not see the Cathedral under any Ministry.

“So it is against the spirit of the Public Financial Management Act to facilitate this transaction,” he added.

Background

The building of the Cathedral is in fulfilment of a pledge President Akufo-Addo revealed he made to God before winning the 2016 elections.

In 2019, the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta, said the construction of the National Cathedral is estimated to cost over $100 million.

It has since been amended to $340 million.

Already, the government has demolished all structures located on the proposed site to construct the National Cathedral at Ridge in Accra, and work is progressing.

It is also scheduled to be commissioned on March 6, 2024.

The 5,000-seater auditorium project will also bequeath to the country a gracious national park for all Ghanaians, bring new skills, technology and jobs to the country and act as a beacon to national, regional and international tourists.