Allotey Jacobs, a social commentator and former NDC Central Regional Chairman, has harshly upbraided Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, over his comments on the National Cathedral.
As opposition against the construction of the National Cathedral intensifies with critics calling on the president to either halt the project or use his own money to establish it, Ghanaians are, however, encouraged to support the president’s vision to complete the Cathedral.
National Cathedral Brouhaha
It could be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, prior to the 2016 elections, informed Ghanaians he had made a vow to God to construct a Cathedral in His honour in exchange for victory in the 2016 elections.
After the president’s prayer was answered, he was expected to fulfil his promise by financing the project himself; little did Ghanaians know their funds would be involved in constructing this religious edifice.
Up until recently, when it came to light that the government was channelling part of taxpayers’ monies to build the Cathedral plus the call on all to contribute a quota towards the project, most of the citizenry were under the impression that the Cathedral was a personal pledge.
It is now obvious that the construction is now the collective responsibility of citizens, and if the president’s promise would materialise, the taxpayer must accept for his or her money to be used.
Perhaps, it was no surprise that the North Tongu Member of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, in a social media post on Wednesday, June 8, claimed that so far, ¢200 million “illegal” funds have been pumped into the project.
National Cathedral Will Pay Off
The Finance Minister, over the weekend, sought to assuage the fears of Ghanaians about the possible wastage of public funds.
According to him, the government will ensure the monies pumped into the construction are recouped within the shortest possible time after construction.
“That question being asked is that are we spending money from state coffers? Is that too much to do because we are politicising it. Do we really want to stop it? That is going to be my question.
“As a Minister of Finance, we are looking at resources and how much we put in there at every point in time that is sensible, and so as we speak, we have spent less than one-thousandth of our expenditure on that,” the Minister said on GTV’s Talking Point.
He added, “I am very confident of raising revenue to be able to fund this and then more importantly, if I want to look into the economics of it, I truly see an overwhelming capacity that this will pay off. Typically, I am looking at an internal rate of return, so we should put this in mind.”
Allotey Replies Ken
Discussing the matter during Peace FM’s “Kokrokoo” program, Allotey Jacobs asked Mr. Ken Ofori-Atta to “shut up” on the project.
He believes it will be more prudent if government interacts with the populace on whether or not to halt the construction or carry on with it.
“Government has flip-flopped on the issue of this Cathedral, so it will be better for Ken Ofori-Atta to keep his mouth shut and not talk about it. And even should the government decide to suspend this project, they should consult with the people of this country”, he said.