Policy Analyst, Bright Simons has commented on the construction of the National Cathedral.
The state-of-the-art project is in fulfillment of a pledge President Akufo-Addo said he made to God before winning the 2016 elections.
The Cathedral, upon completion, is expected to bring about a new dynamism to the tourism industry, according to the Secretary to the Board of Trustees in charge of the National Cathedral, Victor Kusi Boateng.
However, Mr Simons finds it strange that none of the existing cathedrals in Ghana is attracting enough tourists in the country, hence the need for a National Cathedral.
He took to Twitter to express his opinion.
“Ghana has 40 traditional cathedrals. 24 owned by the Catholics. 11 by Anglicans. And the rest by Methodists. It also has at least 124 cathedral-scale christian worship centers. However, for some strange reason, none of them are attracting enough tourists, so a new one is coming,” he twitted.
Ghana has 40 traditional cathedrals. 24 owned by the Catholics. 11 by Anglicans. And the rest by Methodists. It also has at least 124 cathedral-scale christian worship centers. However, for some strange reason, none of them are attracting enough tourists, so a new one is coming. pic.twitter.com/GmmOPjfLgh— Bright Simons (@BBSimons) June 4, 2022
Meanwhile, Government through the Finance Ministry has granted the release of GH¢25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
The money was to be credited to RIBADE Limited for part payment of outstanding claims, according to a letter signed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to the Controller and Accountant’s General.
But Minority has reacted upon sighting this letter. In a press briefing, the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the letter comes as a surprise to them, especially since there was no allocation of money to the cathedral in the 2022 budget.
According to him, the letter exposes the government’s “lack of sincerity, duplicity and the deception” especially since the President has said on numerous occasions made it clear the National Cathedral project was a personal pledge.”
He stated that it is important for the Finance Minister to provide answers on how much of the taxpayers’ money has been used to support the building of the National Cathedral hence the need for him to appear before Parliament.
Reacting to this, Dr Kumah said that there is nothing illegal about the letter signed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to release GH¢25 million as seed money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
This, he explained is because “government has already been transparent and accountable to the people of Ghana on all occasions when this National Cathedral had come up. Government has stated its seriousness about that project and that it remains a priority to the government and that we are committed to build and we will do so in partnership with the private sector.”
He accused the Minority in Parliament of crying wolf where there is none in relation to the release of seed money for the National Cathedral project.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday, Dr. Kumah stated that the “misinterpretation and the spin that Minority is putting on it [National Cathedral] that is creating the issues.”
About the National Cathedral
The state-of-the-art project is in fulfillment of a pledge President Akufo-Addo revealed he made to God before winning the 2016 elections.
As part of efforts to redeem his promise, the government has demolished the houses of judges located on the proposed site for the construction of the project at Ridge in Accra.
As a national monument, the Cathedral would house chapels and baptistery, 5,000 capacity seater main auditorium, expandable to 20,000 people for national events and celebrations.
It would include, among others, a grand central hall, a music school, and would house Africa’s first-ever Bible Museum, Biblical Garden, and documentation centre.
The project would also bequeath to the country, a gracious national park for all Ghanaians, bring new skills, technology, and jobs to the country, and will serve as a beacon for national, regional, and international tourists.
It is estimated to cost 200Million US Dollars, out of which the government provides 10 per cent as seed money and provision of land, while the rest will be provided by the Church and Ghanaians.
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