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National Cathedral spent GH¢790,000 from US fundraiser on 2 Bible symposia — Ablakwa

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has alleged that the National Cathedral secretariat has not been transparent with the processes and procurements associated with the project.

National Cathedral

National Cathedral

He alleged that the secretariat spent all monies realized from a fundraiser in the United States on two symposia held in Accra.

    The NDC MP in a Facebook post on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, reacting to money spent on the edifice despite the government claiming it has spent GH¢339.003.064.86 on the National Cathedral project said out of the over GH¢794,000 cedis from the fundraiser, GH¢790,000 was spent as expenditure on two Bible Museum symposia held at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra.

    National Cathedral

    He said efforts by the Cathedral Secretariat to raise funds for the completion of the project after Parliament rejected an expenditure item for the project in the 2023 budget.

    “After we successfully blocked the GH¢80 million budgetary allocation for President Akufo-Addo’s Cathedral in Parliament; I have observed a spirited campaign by the National Cathedral Secretariat to woo private donors and assure the donor community that it can still meet its ambitious 2024 completion target.

    “The Secretariat’s track record gives me very little confidence in that regard,” the MP stated.

    The Secretariat’s Kempinski expenditure is virtually everything raised from its US fundraiser, leaving only a measly GH¢4,144.74 for actual construction. Any wonder the JV contractors, RIBADE Ltd have long abandoned the site since March 2022 for lack of payment? Ablakwa asked.

    Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa

    After we successfully blocked the GHS80million budgetary allocation for President Akufo-Addo’s Cathedral in Parliament; I have observed a spirited campaign by the National Cathedral Secretariat to woo private donors and assure the donor community that it can still meet its ambitious 2024 completion target.

    The Secretariat’s track record gives me very little confidence in that regard. This is a Secretariat that raised the equivalent of GHS794,990.01 from its fundraising in the United States of America and then decided to host 2 Bible Museum of Africa symposia at Kempinski in Accra which cost them GHS790,845.27.

    In simpler terms, the Secretariat’s Kempinski expenditure is virtually everything raised from its US fundraiser, leaving only a measly GHS4,144.74 for actual construction. Any wonder the JV contractors, RIBADE Ltd have long abandoned site since March 2022 for lack of payment?

    Earlier, the MP disclosed that the contractor task to construct President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s $400 million National Cathedral edifice, the contractors, RIBADE Limited, the JV contractors (consisting Rizzani de Eccher SpA, M. Barbisotti & Sons Ltd and DeSimone Ltd) will announce their disinterest and final withdrawal from the beleaguered project which has consistently been a cause célèbre.

    EMMANUEL TORNYI

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