Deputy Finance Minister, Dr. John Kumah has accused the Minority in Parliament of crying wolf where there is none in relation to the release of seed money for the National Cathedral project.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story on Thursday, Dr. Kumah stated that 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,” he told host Evans Mensah.
Government through the Finance Ministry 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.
He added that “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.”
According to him, the letter exposes the government’s “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.”
He stated that it is important for the Finance Minister to provide answers on how much of the taxpayers’ money has been used to support the building of the National Cathedral hence the need for him to appear before Parliament.
Reacting to this, Dr Kumah said that there is nothing illegal about the letter signed by the Finance Minister, Ken Ofori-Atta to release GH¢25 million as seed money for the construction of the National Cathedral.
This, he explained is because “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 on due financial burden on the State.”
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