Contrary to earlier claims by government that it was not going to fund or spend tax payers’ money on the construction of the National Cathedral, it has now emerged that the state will provide the seed money for the project.
There was disagreement in the country when government announced plans to build the national non-denominational Christian worship centre.
Some citizens accused government of having misplaced priorities and wasting the taxpayers’ money.Deputy Minister Information, Pius Hadzide, had clarified that, the entire cost of the project, as well as the temporary accommodation for the affected persons, would be taken care of by private institutions and individuals.
“It is not correct that the state was going to be wasting public resources on building that cathedral. Building of that cathedral will primarily be funded by voluntary contributions from the Christian community, philanthropists and with grants from development partners, he said.
But it appears the government has now backtracked on its position. This is because; Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, whiles delivering the 2019 budget statement in Parliament on Thursday, disclosed that government is among other things providing the seed capital for the construction.
He however failed to mention how much government will commit as seed money to the project.
“The state is facilitating this process by providing the land, the Secretariat, and seed money for the preparatory phase.”
“This National Cathedral partnership framework operationalizes, and indeed is a practical expression, of the social partnership envisaged to foster participatory development of the country as our collective goal,” he added.
Gov’t to launch fundraiser for National Cathedral project
Government is also to hold a fundraiser to enable it accumulate more money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
The move, according to government is to take away any toll the project will have on the country’s finances.
The fundraisers will be organized in Ghana and the United States of America in December 2018 and February 2019 respectively.
Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori Atta said this when he presented government’s 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy.
“The President is determined that the building of the National Cathedral would not put undue financial burdens on the state. He has therefore proposed a partnership between the State and the Ghanaian Christian community both at home and in the Diaspora”.
“The formal launch of this national fundraising campaign is slated for December 28, 2018 in Ghana, and February 2019 in the United States, he stated.
The Akufo-Addo administration envisions the National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship centre for the country.
President Nana Akufo-Addo cut the sod for the construction of the national cathedral on March 6, 2017, as part of events that marked Ghana’s 60th-anniversary celebration. The government is to provide 14-acres of public land for the project while the Christian community and individuals are to fund the construction.
Reception towards the cathedral from Ghanaians has been mixed. Whilst it has been generally well received by various leaders in the Christian community, the government faced some criticism over its priorities.
President Nana Akufo-Addo is keen on making the cathedral one of his government’s legacies and he has described it as “a priority among priorities.”
National Cathedral misplaced priority, we’ll campaign against it – TUC
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has described the government’s plan to construct a National Cathedral as a misplaced priority.
It has also vowed to rally the support of Ghanaians to campaign against the construction of the cathedral.
“We would like to appeal to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to shelve this plan otherwise we will invite all Ghanaians to join us to campaign vehemently against this misplaced priority and to protect the national purse,” TUC said,
In a statement copied to citinewsroom.com, it indicated that it will continue to support initiatives of the government that seeks to enhance social and economic development but cannot support the construction of a national cathedral.
By: Nii Larte Lartey | citinewsroom.com | Ghana