President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has donated a sum of GHS100,000 towards the continuous construction of the National Cathedral project.
Speaking at the Bible reading marathon at the project site on Tuesday, 2 January 2023, the President maintained his stance to build the cathedral notwithstanding the widespread opposition by a cross section of the population.
Mr Akufo-Addo noted that the cathedral is an act of thanksgiving for God’s mercies and grace on the country.
Explaining his resolve to see the cathedral constructed, he said “the reasons for my decision to mobilise support for the construction of the National Cathedral remain unchanged. At least 71 per cent of the Ghanaian people adhere to the Christian religion, grouped under the various persuasions of the Christian faith.
“The interdenominational national cathedral will help unify the Christian community, and thereby help promote national unity and social cohesion. It will not just be another national monument but the rallying point for the entire Christian community to come together and worship, pray and promote deep conversation on the role of faith in building mother Ghana.
Meanwhile, the government has spent close to GHC340 million on the construction of the national cathedral by the close of December 2022.
The Executive Director of the National Cathedral Secretariat, Dr. Paul Opoku Mensah disclosed this in a report on the National Cathedral at the same event at the project site.
He told President Akufo-Addo and the media present that “For purposes of clarity, I want to report a verbatim memo I sent on this issue dated 19th January 2022 and addressed to the Clerk of Parliament.
“The indication was that the government has given us GHS339 million and we could account for GHS225 million leaving GHS114 million missing.
”Here, I quote what I wrote to the Clerk. As we indicated to the Committee on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the total amount paid by the government of Ghana to the National Cathedral project is GHS339 million.
“This total is made up of the following: the amount paid directly to the National Cathedral Secretariat is GHS225 million. The amount paid directly to the Consultant, Adjaye Associates & Design Team is GHS113.040.54.67 million. The two payments total GHS339.003.064.86.”
Dr Opoku Mensah, thus, dispelled claims that some monies allocated for the construction of the cathedral cannot be accounted for.
“So, there are no missing funds that could not be accounted for. Secondly, the detailed account for these funds was provided to Parliament on December 15, 2022, by the Secretariat. In the case of the accounting from the Secretariat, this involves among others, total payments made to the contractor, and total payments made to the Bible Museum and Biblical Gardens Design Team.”
He also expressed the secretariat’s displeasure over what he described as a misrepresentation of facts on the project by some Members of Parliament.
“While projects of this nature will always have discontent, we are nonetheless concerned about the misrepresentations particularly when it comes from Members of Parliament.
“For instance, the continued misrepresentation of the contract to the consultants is worrying as none of the amount bandied around comes anywhere near the contract amount.
“Rather than 34% that they said we’d paid the architect, actually, the contract figure is 12.5% when the Ministry of Works and Housing allows for 15.5%. And the 12.5% will not change irrespective of what happens to the total cost.
“More critically, the contract is not for an architect, but for a set of consultants’ services involving 15 international and Ghanaian firms of which Sir David Adjaye Associates is the lead consultant.”
In the 2023 budget, government allocated a sum of GHS80million towards the construction of the cathedral, however, the Minority succeeded in disapproving it.
The money was, however, reallocated to the communications and road sectors.