General News of Friday, 23 November 2018
The Senior Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Rev. Dr. Fred Deegbe has questioned government’s plans to maintain the National Cathedral considering the country’s known record of poor maintenance culture.
Rev. Deegbe believes there’s nothing wrong with having a National Cathedral in the country but what bothers him most is how the facility will be properly maintained.
Comparing our facilities to that of America and other European countries, Rev. Deegbe said due to our poor maintenance culture, architectural buildings and tourists sites which generate income for the country has been left to rot making us lose revenue in that aspect.
He indicated that monies gathered from tourist sites in America and the European countries are used to maintain the structures but same cannot be said for Ghana as it is done only occasionally when events are going to be held.
“America is a different animal all together…their giving to maintain things is incredible. So I shudder about how a huge monument like the National Cathedral could generate the income, how long it will take, what it will take to maintain it?, he stated.
He further said it would be prudent for government to engage stakeholders in a national dialogue to discuss the need of having a cathedral and how the facility can be kept in good condition.
“For me if I’m to have some dialogue on this thing, these are my concerns because our maintenance culture, even the place where it is sitting some of those buildings that were there; look how long the job 600 took for us to operationalise it. Not far from there, look at our national stadium; a place where more people can visit for paying fees, look at how it stands. Will the national cathedral generate more money than that? I don’t know. So it’s a good idea but when you have a conversation then we can have endowment funds and people suggesting things for the building, for the maintenance of the house of God”, he said.
The President cut the sod for the construction of a National Christian Cathedral for the country during the 60th year of the country’s independence on March 6, 2017.
The Cathedral will house impressive chapels and baptistery, a 5000-seat auditorium, expandable to 15,000 people for national events and celebrations.
But even before the first brick is laid, the project has been caught in a controversy.
Critics have questioned the rationale behind the state getting involved in building a National Cathedral for Christians.
It has emerged the state will have to pull down all buildings from the Ridge Circle to Scholarship Secretariat, Judicial Training Institute at East Ridge and Passport Office for the take-off of the multipurpose project.
Government has justified the decision to evict some nine judges from their current official residence to make way for the construction of a National Cathedral scheduled to be built in Accra.
The former Lands Minister John Peter Amewu said government had no issues with the proposed site for the edifice per the proposal by the Rev. Asante Antwi-led committee.
However, government’s decision to get involved with plans to build the Cathedral has hit a snag as a suit has been filed at the Supreme Court against it.
James Kwabena Bomfeh, a former Youth Organiser of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), wants an interlocutory injunction to restrain the construction of the controversial Cathedral.
The Supreme Court has however set January 16, 2019 to deliver judgement in the case challenging the construction of the cathedral.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, while delivering the 2019 budget statement in Parliament also disclosed that government is among other things providing the seed capital for the construction and also intends holding a fundraiser to enable it to accumulate more money for the construction of the National Cathedral.