National Cathedral: We need $100m to import steel for work to proceed – Dr Opoku Mensah

The Executive Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana has debunked claims that the project has been halted.

According to Dr Paul Opoku Mensah, contrary to the general perception that the location had been abandoned with nothing meaningful there, two floors have been constructed.

He explained that the project was at the steel laying stage, therefore without it, the building cannot proceed.

Dr Opuku Mensah added that, the edifice is projected to be the largest civic building in the country, therefore only pre-engineered steel would be needed to continue.

He said an amount of $ 100 million will be needed to import all the steel for the building to proceed.

Speaking on Okay FM, he explained that the architectural design does not include the use of blocks, hence once the secretariat receives the amount, the project will continue.

He stressed that the design will help the building to last for many decades. The cathedral project has sharply divided opinions in the country.

In recent months, the project has constantly captured headlines as many questions have been asked about the prudent use of resources allocated to the project.

One of the persons who has constantly questioned the work and accused the project managers of wrongdoings, is the Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa.

The MP, who has been on a crusade to expose everything that is wrong with the project, has in his latest Facebook post revealed that, only US$22.07 million of public funds went to the contractors, RIBADE JV, for actual construction out of over $58 million dollars allocated to the project.

Already, government has been criticized for spending huge sums of the allocated funds towards the cathedral on consultancy services and other things.

“Ghanaians will be shocked to discover this morning that out of the US$58.14million of public funds unconstitutionally withdrawn without parliamentary approval for Akufo-Addo’s cathedral project, only a fraction of US$22.07 million went to the contractors, RIBADE JV for actual construction,” he said.

This, according to him, was brought to the bare when the contractors furnished parliament with details of how the US$ 58.14 million fund was spent on the project.

He added that “This really means that out of the US$ 58.14 million of taxpayer funds wrongfully released for Akufo-Addo’s cathedral, more than US$ 36 million was expended on other items other than their core function of construction.

“We now know that only a paltry 37.9% of total public funds released was handed over to the contractors.”

The legislator, however, noted that concerns have been raised about how RIBADE JV utilised the US$ 22.07 million.

As a result, he questioned whether the $100 million demanded by the government to import steel for the project will be used appropriately.

“In any case, per their own sordid track record, there is no guarantee that if they are ever given US$ 100 million, all that money will be used for its advertised purpose.”

The National Cathedral Secretariat has constantly insisted that there hasn’t been any wrongdoing or any acts of corruption in the execution of the project.

It recently engaged renowned auditing firm, Deloitte, to audit its books for the purposes of transparency and accountability.

Source: Connielove Mawutornyo Dzodzegbe  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *