Felix Kwakye Ofosu, a former Deputy Minister for Communication in the erstwhile Mahama administration has alleged that the government owes the contractor who is building the National Cathedral a whopping $52 million for digging just a “useless hole”.
Speaking to Oheneba Boamah Bennie on the Gumbe Show on TV XYZ, the NDC Parliamentary candidate for Abura-Asebu-Kwamankese constituency described the construction of the National Cathedral by the Akufo-Addo government as the most useless venture in Ghana’s history.
He said although the physical structure of the controversial project is yet to be erected, the government has already pumped $58 million of state funds into the project at a time Ghana is witnessing an economic downturn.
Kwakye Ofosu alleged that “apart from the $58 million spent on the useless project, the government has to look for $52 million of state funds to pay the contractor working on the project just for digging a hole on the site.”
“Just the hole that has been created and not the main project,” he stated. “So if the contractor who has already issued a certificate for the work done decides to sue the government in court, he has to be paid.”
He said the government could not pay caterers to feed basic school pupils across the country but saw it prudent to “waste” funds on the building of a cathedral whose impact would not be felt by the citizens.
“I have said that I will never support the construction of the National Cathedral. I don’t know how you would want to describe me; You can call me a devil for saying that,” Kwakye Ofosu told Oheneba Boamah Bennie, host of the Gumbe Show on TV XYZ.
“There is no need to support this project. As we live in this country, is our priority a cathedral?” he quizzed.
Apart from questions of accountability which have been repeatedly raised by the Minority in Parliament, there have also been concerns about the relevance of the project as the country cannot sustain its debts coupled with high inflation.
The questions led to two eminent clergymen and members of the Board of Trustees of the controversial National Cathedral project calling for its immediate suspension.
The two – Archbishop Duncan Williams and Reverend Eastwood Anaba asked for a financial audit to be undertaken before the project could continue.
Earlier in 2022, Bishop Dag Heward-Mills, the founder and leader of the Lighthouse Chapel International resigned secretly from the Board of Trustees of the project.
In the letter, Bishop Heward-Mills expressed disappointment at the leadership of the National Cathedral for ignoring concerns he raised in several letters he wrote to them with the recent one being in June 2022 through the Ghana Charismatic Bishops’ Conference.
Part of it reads, “I feel that the treatment of the issues I have raised in my several letters has been unfortunate. My letters have been ignored in the past; not attended to for years, and at best addressed flippantly.”
In March this year, the Speaker of Parliament, RT. Hon. Alban Bagbin admitted a motion to probe the National Cathedral Project.
This followed a Private Members’ Motion sponsored by Minority Leader, Cassiel Ato Forson, and Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah among others.
The motion will see a committee constituted to conduct an inquiry into the controversial project and all related matters that evolve around the illegal usage of state resources to fund the cathedral.
The committee will subsequently make recommendations for consideration.