John Kumah, a deputy Finance Minister, has chastised the Minority in Parliament for making baseless allegations regarding the release of 'additional seed money' for the National Cathedral project.
According to him, all the noise by the Minority over a supposed GH¢25 million to build a house for the Lord is like someone of crying wolf where there is none.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday, June 2, 2022, Dr. Kumah said, it is the “misinterpretation and the spin that Minority is putting on it [National Cathedral] that is creating the issues.
“This GH¢25 million contribution is also a payment to the priority project of government and they [Minority] don’t determine what is priority for President Akufo-Addo and his government.”
A letter circulating and signed by the Finance Minister shows that the government of Ghana under the leadership of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has granted the release of GH¢25 million to the National Cathedral Secretariat as additional seed money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
The money was to be credited to RIBADE Limited for part payment of outstanding claims, according to a letter signed by the Minister of Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, to the Controller and Accountant’s General.
But the Minority has reacted upon sighting this letter. In a press briefing, the Minority spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said the letter comes as a surprise to them, especially since there was no allocation of money to the cathedral in the 2022 budget.
“MPs have not approved all of these colossal sums of money that are being released to companies we are seeing for the first time. We are not even aware of the procurement processes that were followed for these companies and these consultants who are today receiving hundreds of millions of Ghana cedis.
“[The] lack of sincerity, duplicity and the deception” especially since the President has said on numerous occasions made it clear the National Cathedral project was "a personal pledge,” Ablakwa stated.
Reacting to the demands of the Minority, John Kumah said, there is nothing illegal about the letter signed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta.
He explained, “government has already been transparent and accountable to the people of Ghana on all occasions when this National Cathedral had come up. Government has stated its seriousness about that project and that it remains a priority to the government and that we are committed to build and we will do so in partnership with the private sector.”
This is in contrast with what the Finance Minister said when he read the budget. He stated that, “Mr Speaker, the President is determined that the building of the National Cathedral will not put undue financial burden on the State.”
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