The Minority in Parliament has served notice it will thoroughly scrutinize the amount of money government is pumping into the National Cathedral.
Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, said there are so many controversies and lack of openness in the building of the project that needs to be answered and assured that no stone will be left unturned when the 2023 budget is tabled for debate on Tuesday, November 29.
The project has seen a lot of controversies, as many Ghanaians continue to question the prudence of the state financing an edifice that is said to be President Akufo-Addo’s personal pledge to God.
While assuring that the Minority Caucus is not against the building of such a monument, Haruna Iddrisu at a post-budget engagement in Ho, observed what he said were needful answers on the budgetary allocation, procurement, and other matters, missing from the conversation.
“Ghana is a secular state and a Republic which guarantees freedom of faith, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion but when you make a budgetary allocation for the construction of a national cathedral at GH¢80 million, we must know what is the total cost of that project, how were procurements undertaken to assure value for money, what is the duration of the project, how much will it cost the State and when will the project be completed.”
“These are needful questions we will ask while we support it,” he added.
The project has been hit with financial controversies as a letter released in May 2022 by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to the Controller and Accountant’s General, directed that the sum of GH¢25 million be credited to Ribade Limited, for part payment of outstanding claims. This directive and payment clearly contravened the president’s word that the project would not be built with State funds.
The Minority in Parliament had accused Ofori-Atta of “unconstitutional withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in blatant contravention of Article 78 of the 1992 Constitution, supposedly for the construction of the President’s Cathedral.”
But the Minister denied the accusation when he appeared before an 8-member ad-hoc committee probing allegations in a vote of censure against him, saying “with both humility and confidence, I have not breached the Constitution in making payments to support the construction of the National Cathedral of Ghana.”