General News of Thursday, 22 November 2018
Former Deputy Minister of Communications, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, has alleged that the National Cathedral, intended to be constructed with support from government, will cost the state about $100m.
Speaking on Citi TV’s Breakfast Daily show on Tuesday, Mr. Kwakye Ofosu chided government for the decision to build the Cathedral by going ahead to promise seed money for its construction.
“That National Cathedral I hear is costing the state around $100m. That can put up an ultramodern district hospital which can render health services to tens of thousands of people. When John Mahama was President and he had money, he built hospitals, he built schools, he could have also built a cathedral,” he said.
When asked by the host of the show, Dziffa Akua Ametam his source for the amount he quoted, he said he had read it in several news stories.
He, however, challenged government to state the right amount if they dispute the amount he has stated.
“Well, I read it in several news items… If it is wrong they should take the opportunity to tell us how much it would cost. I don’t want a penny of my taxes to go into the National Cathedral, but I am Christian too”
Mr. Kwakye Ofosu also accused President Nana Akufo-Addo of deliberately appealing to the emotions of Christians and other people he describes as “religious fundamentalists” for votes, with the construction of the National Cathedral.
According to him, the decision to build the national cathedral is a waste of resources, as the funds to be provided by government could be used in improving the country’s infrastructural deficit.
He explained that there are some already existing churches in the country with huge sitting capacities to cater for whatever event government intends to host.
“With the greatest respect to the President, I don’t think a Cathedral is the most important thing in our lives at this time. We have many churches in the country with some of the most fantastic auditoriums. The Church of Pentecost has this huge auditorium somewhere in Kasoa, and that is where we held our Youth and Women’s conference. There is no church service that you cannot hold there, there is also Lighthouse.”
Gov’t to provide seed money for National Cathedral
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, while delivering the 2019 budget statement in Parliament last week, 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
Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta also during the 2019 budget presentation revealed that Government also intends to hold a fundraiser to enable it to 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.
“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.