The National Cathedral will pay off, according to Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta.
According to him, the cathedral is not costing the country as much as certain Ghanaian media outlets have stated.
“At any point in time when these buildings were built in Europe, was it ever the right time? How do we fund it will become the question. Is the executive mindful of the current situation? We shouldn’t snuff out our religiousness or spirituality because we are poor. The Lord will understand if we put our widows mite in there,” he said on Sunday on Ghana Television (GTV).
“That question being asked is that are we spending money from state coffers? Is that too much to do because we are politicizing it. Do we really want to stop it? That is going to be my question,” he continued.
Mr Ofori-Atta, on the request of Chief of Staff Frema Opare, Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, allowed the release of GHS142.7 million for national cathedral “planned activities” on October 29, 2020, according to North Tongu Member of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.
The funds, he believes, might have been utilized to pay Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) trainees, school feeding program caterers, and service personnel.
“Considering the current debilitating economic crisis, why is the Akufo-Addo govt releasing a colossal GHS25million for the National Cathedral project?” Mr Ablakwa said in a tweet. Shockingly, this is the same govt claiming lack of funds to pay NABCo trainees, School feeding caterers, service personnel, the 3-year no-textbooks-syndrome, etc.”
“This gross lack of priority cannot be pleasing to the compassionate God we all serve. It is also important to stress that this manifestly insensitive conduct is without parliamentary approval — we shall be demanding answers in Parliament.”
His remarks came after the Ghanaian government authorized the disbursement of 25 million Ghana cedis for the construction of the National Cathedral through the Ministry of Finance.
“Authority is hereby granted to release the sum of 25 million Ghana Cedis as additional seed money to the National Cathedral Secretariat for the construction of the National for part payment of the outstanding claim from RIBADE,” the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta wrote to the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) in a letter dated March 31st.