The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu, has replied the Deputy Finance Minister, John Kumah over the ongoing controversy surrounding the release of GHC25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the project.
The Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, insists the Deputy Minister is not being truthful about the matter.
There have been disagreements over the release of the amount. Whereas the Minority maintains that the release is not budgeted for, the government says otherwise.
The Minority said it is not even aware of the procurement processes that were followed in the release of the funds.
“MPs have not approved all of these colossal sums of money that are being released to companies we are seeing for the first time. We are not even aware of the procurement processes that were followed for these companies and these consultants, who are today receiving hundreds of millions of Ghana cedis,” Mr. Ablakwa said at a press conference on Thursday, June 2.
However, the Deputy Finance Minister accused the Minority of crying wolf where there is none.
He stated that the “misinterpretation and the spin that the Minority is putting on it [National Cathedral] is what is creating the issues.”
“This GH¢25 million contribution is also a payment to the priority project of the government and they [Minority] don’t determine what is a priority for President Akufo-Addo and his government,” he said in an interview with JoyNews.
But speaking on Metro TV’s Good Morning Ghana show on Friday, June 3, the North Tongu MP said the Deputy Finance Minister is engaging in sophistry.
“When they started, they said this was going to be a personal project, and they are not going to burden the taxpayer. Then the position shifted that now the government will only provide the seed capital.”
“Even with that, John Kumah knows. He is aware of Article 178. Where, in the 2022 budget, do we have this GHC25 million?”
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 250 Million 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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