National Cathedral Project Is A Total Lack Of Respect For Ghanaians – Okudzeto Ablakwa
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has described the construction of the national cathedral as a total lack of respect for Ghanaians. According to him, the project, from its onset was used to extort more money from taxpayers coffers without the knowledge of the Members of Parliament.
“This national cathedral project has become an iconic symbol of lack of planning, lack of prioritisation, deception, fraud, corruption, underhand dealing, total lack of respect for the Ghanaian people whose taxes you have siphoned on the blind side of their representatives,” he said.The MP explained that government did not use the right process to secure land for the project which will become a burden on public coffers.
“Now you adopt this approach where you demolish Judges’ bungalows, you demolish the passport office, you demolish the scholarship secretariat, you demolish the IT firm, you demolish Waterstone Realty and luxury apartment company, they are in court now demanding GHC120 million cedis because you were not able to compensate them.”
“You demolish the Judicial Training Institute, I mean, so insane. How can you adopt this model, now you have the Chief Justice going around looking for $50 million dollars to construct a new Judicial Training Institute. He is looking for a loan which will become a burden on the taxpayer,” he said. Mr. Ablakwa further expressed worry about the constant rise in the estimated cost of the cathedral.
“As we speak, even the cost until a few weeks ago when they appeared before us the cost keeps escalating, remember this project started at $100 million dollars according to the Finance Minister, then it moved to $150, it moved to $200, it moved to $250, is this how we conduct a national project. As we speak now, it’s hovering around $400 million dollars,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Akufo-Addo has donated GHC100,000 to the National Cathedral Secretariat for the continuation of the project. Speaking at the Bible reading marathon at the project site, the President reiterated his conviction to build the cathedral, noting that it is not only his pledge but an act of thanksgiving for God’s mercies and grace on the country.