National Cathedral Secretariat rubbishes claims of missing funds

National Cathedral Prototype.png The National Cathedral project has made the headlines for wrong reasons

Tue, 3 Jan 2023 Source: starrfm.com.gh

The Executive Director of the National Cathedral of Ghana, Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah has dismissed claims of the Secretariat misappropriating funds pumped by the state into the project.

He indicated that a report of all the activities so far on the project supported by detailed pictures has been submitted to parliament.

“…the idea that somehow we took the funds and just dug a hole is simply mischievous,” Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah said in a status report on the National Cathedral delivered at the Bible Reading Marathon Thanksgiving Service at the project site on Tuesday, January 2, 2023.

Accountability and Fundraising

He indicated that an amount of almost GH¢340 million on the construction of the controversial national cathedral by the close of December 2022.

This includes an amount of GH¢113 million paid directly to the Consultant, Sir David Adjaye and GH¢225 million paid directly to the Secretariat.

“Mr. President, for the record I want to state categorically that we have accounted for all the monies from the State to the national cathedral project. And this accounting has been submitted to parliament. For purposes of clarity, I want to report a verbatim memo I sent on this issue dated 19th January, 2022 and addressed to the Clerk of parliament.

"The indication was that the government had given us GH¢339 million and we could account for GH¢225 million leaving GH¢114 million missing. Here, I quote what I wrote to the Clerk – As we indicated to the Committee on Thursday, December 15, 2022, the total amount paid by the government of Ghana to the National Cathedral project is GH¢339 million.

"This total is made up of the following: the amount paid directly to the National Cathedral Secretariat is GH¢225 million. The amount paid directly to the Consultant, Adjaye Associates & Design Team is GH¢ million. The two payments total GH¢339.003.064.86.”

Dr. Paul Opoku-Mensah thus expressed displeasure over what he described as a misrepresentation of facts on the project by some Members of Parliament.

“While projects of this nature will always have discontent, we are nonetheless concerned about the misrepresentations particularly when it comes from Members of Parliament.

"For instance, the continued misrepresentation of the contract to the consultants is worrying as none of the amount bandied around comes anywhere near the contract amount.

"Rather than 34% that they said we’d paid the architect, actually, the contract figure is 12.5% when the Ministry of Works and Housing allows for 15.5%. And the 12.5% will not change irrespective of what happens to the total cost.

"More critically, the contract is not for an architect, but for a set of consultants’ services involving 15 international and Ghanaian firms of which Sir David Adjaye Associates is the lead consultant.”

Source: starrfm.com.gh
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