General News of Wednesday, 28 November 2018
Former Deputy Attorney General, Dominic Ayine, wants the government to clarify all critical matters surrounding the proposed national cathedral.
According to him, even though the 2019 budget statement captures the cathedral, relevant questions such as the value of the land being offered by the state for the construction, the amount that would be used to run the secretariat to oversee the construction, and the quantum of the said seed money to be given by the state have all not been answered.
Contributing to the 2019 budget debate, the Bolga East MP demanded answers from the government in what he says is in the interest of accountability and transparency.
“A number of critical questions may be asked at this point because the minister mentioned it and it is not contained in the budget. What is the value of the land to be provided by the state? I am aware that 21 town houses that were built to house our judges are going to be demolished for purposes of the construction of this national cathedral.”
National Cathedral design,/b>
“What is the cost of running the secretariat for the entire duration of the construction of the national cathedral? That has not been stated. How much is the seed money to be provided by the state? I have looked at the budget and there is no line item with respect to the construction of the national cathedral. This is critical issue of accountability, he noted.
Gov’t to provide seed money for National Cathedral project
Contrary to earlier claims by the government that it was not going to fund or spend tax payers’ money on the construction of the National Cathedral, it emerged during the presentation of the 2019 budget that the state will provide the seed money for the project.
The Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, while making the presentation before Parliament earlier this month said that, “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 also revealed that the government will hold a fundraiser to enable it to gather more money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
But Dominic Ayine believes that government is failing in ensuring accountability by virtue of how it is undertaking the process.
He wants the governemnt to provide answers to key issues such as how much it is investing in the construction project.
‘National Cathedral to cost Gov’t $100m’
Meanwhile, 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.
“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 on Citi TV.