Construction of the National Cathedral is expected to begin in the first week of April 2020 following a groundbreaking ceremony held in Accra today, Thursday, March 5, 2020.
The one month period is to allow for the completion of the groundwork preparations.
According to the National Cathedral Secretariat, the Malian Embassy and the Passport Office will be demolished within the same period to pave way for the construction to begin.
In an interview with Citi News, the CEO of the Secretariat, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah stated that a plan will be announced by the end of the month detailing strategies to raise funds for the construction.
“We are still left with two buildings that need to go [down] by the 1st of April . Then we can say construction has started. We are in that process of negotiating the final details of the contract. So we are in the stage where we are finalising discussions for the contractor. We’ve been confident and almost encouraged by the donations coming in. But I’ve always said that today really will mark the beginning of the major donations,” he said.
Government has been criticised for championing the National Cathedral project.
But President Nana Akufo-Addo who initiated the project maintains that construction of the National Cathedral is pivotal to the development of Ghana.
He explained that the country’s comparative performance against neighbouring countries is mainly by the grace of God.
“Ghana has so far been spared civil war, famine and epidemic. We are certainly not better than the other nations in our neighbourhood who have been confronted with these challenges and I believe it is by the grace of God that we are being sustained. It will be an act of thanksgiving to the Almighty for his blessing, favour, grace and mercy on our nation.”
“71 percent of the Ghanaian people adhere to the Christian religion, grouped under the various persuasion of the Christian faith. The Supreme Court of the Republic in unanimously rejecting recently the challenge of the constitutional quality of the Cathedral project laid particular emphasis on this.”
Archbishop Nicholas Duncan-Williams, on the other hand, advised against the political colourization of the project.
According to him, the Cathedral will be beneficial to future generations.
He said: “This project which is something to do with God and country, posterity and generations yet on board, let it not be subjected to the reasons of men to debate [and politicise it]. Let it not be subjected to controversies. But let us for once go beyond debate,” he said.
The government announced plans to construct the cathedral to serve as a national non-denominational Christian worship centre for Ghana.
Nine justices of the Court of Appeal as well as other judicial staff occupying bungalows around the site earmarked for the project were asked to vacate to make way for the construction of the 5,000-seater capacity facility.
They were moved into temporary residential buildings pending the construction of some new bungalows for them.
The interdenominational Christian Cathedral, when completed, will have a 5,000 seating capacity with chapels, a baptistery, a music school, an art gallery and a Bible museum.
The monument is expected to be put up within the next five years.
On the back of this, President Akufo-Addo received several criticisms over his decision to build a National Cathedral in the face of numerous challenges facing the country.
Some persons even went to court to challenge the move but were not successful.