Government is to hold a fund raising ceremony to enable it accumulate more money for the construction of the much-talked about National Cathedral.
The move, according to government, is to ensure that the project does not take any toll 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.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta during the presentation of government’s 2019 Budget Statement and Economic Policy in parliament on Thursday.
[contextly_sidebar id=”LnjIDnHhea8A4MK9VToF4CgR9a53ZW35″]President Nana Akufo-Addo in 2017 cut the sod for the construction of a National Cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship centre for the country.
The decision to build a national cathedral has angered some Ghanaians with people describing it as a waste of public land and national resources, while others have accused the government of misplaced priorities.
However, Ken Ofori-Atta has asked agitating Ghanaians to heave a sigh of relief as the state plans to secure a partnership and appeal for funds for the project in a bid to ease the national purse.
“The President is determined that the building of the National Cathedral would not put undue financial burden 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 disclosed.
Government only providing seed money
Ken Ofori Atta also clarified that government is among other things providing the initial resources for the project, hence the partnership is to facilitate the country’s developmental agenda.
“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.”
“National Cathedral, a priority among priorities” – Nana Addo
President Akufo-Addo has mounted a spirited defense of his administration’s decision to construct a national cathedral in the capital, Accra.
The president said the construction of such an edifice must be regarded as a significant symbol of the ordinary Ghanaian’s life.
He insisted that the cathedral is a priority for the government.
“People will ask if it (national cathedral) is a priority. It is a priority among priorities. We’ll never find enough money to do everything we want to do. But we have to begin, and that’s what we have started.”
President Akufo-Addo further mentioned that the cathedral when built would serve as a symbolic monument that will unify the citizenry in a Christ-like manner.
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.
About the National Cathedral
The National Cathedral is to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship centre for the country.
Some nine justices of the Court of Appeal as well as other judicial staff occupying bungalows around the site earmarked for the project have been asked to vacate to make way for the construction of the 5,000-seater capacity facility.
They are to move into temporary residential buildings pending the construction of some 21 new bungalows on the Second Circular Road – Cantonments in Accra.
These will be completed and handed over by January 2020.
In March 2017, the Convention Peoples Party’s (CPP), James Kwabena Bomfeh, also known as Kabila, went before the Supreme Court, seeking the Court’s intervention against Government’s decision to construct a National Cathedral as well as the organisation of Hajj pilgrimages.
The case has since been adjourned to allow lawyers of the plaintiff to amend their original writ.
By: Nii Larte Lartey |citinewsroom.com | Ghana