National Cathedral is not a misplaced priority – Assafuah

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Old Tafo Member of Parliament, Vincent Ekow Assafuah has said the National Cathedral project is not a misplaced priority as is being claimed by some quarters.

Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday June 4, he said the project “is not a misplaced priority” and further explained that the government has embarked on a number of projects including the free senior high school initiative to help the people of this country.

He further indicated that the Finance Ministry informed Parliament that the government was going to make a seed capital available for the project. Therefore, he can’t understand the issues raised against the 25million cedis earmarked by the government for the project.

The Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance authorized the release of ¢25million for the construction of the National Cathedral in Accra.

A letter dated 31st March and written to the Controller and Accountant General Department (CAGD) by the Minister of Finance Ken Ofori Atta said “Authority is hereby granted to release the sum of 25million Ghana Cedis as additional seed money to the National Cathedral Secretariat for the construction of the National Cathedral for part payment of the outstanding claim from RIBADE.”

This matter has raised concerns among some Ghanaians especially the Minority in Parliament.

For instance, North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa questioned the government for releasing the amount of ¢25million for the project in the midst of economic challenges.

In Mr Ablakwa’s view, the funds could have been used to pay trainees under the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) programme, school feeding caterers and also service personnel.

Mr Ablakwa said “Considering the current debilitating economic crisis, why is the Akufo-Addo govt releasing a colossal GHS25million for the National Cathedral project? Shockingly, this is the same govt claiming lack of funds to pay NABCo trainees, School feeding caterers, service personnel, the 3-year no-textbooks-syndrome, etc.

“This gross lack of priority cannot be pleasing to the compassionate God we all serve. It is also important to stress that this manifestly insensitive conduct is without parliamentary approval — we shall be demanding answers in Parliament.”

A member of the National Communications team of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Osman Ayariga also accused the government of not setting its priorities right following the release of an amount of ¢25million to the National Cathedral project.

In his view, this money cannot be spent on the project when people are losing their lives and livelihood to floods.

Speaking on the New Day show on TV3 with Johnnie Hughes, Friday June 3, Osaman Ayariga said “…Just yesterday, you will realize that ¢25million has been given to Cathedral and the Deputy Finance Minister tells us that to them, that is priority.

“People are flooding, water is carrying people’s livelihoods away, the rains are carrying peoples homes away but the Finance Minister comes to tell us that the President, giving additional seed money of ¢25million cedis for the construction of the National Cathedral which is the President’s own solemn promise to God, is a priority.”

By Laud Nartey||Ghana

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