Ghanaian Parliament blocks approval of ¢80million for National Cathedral.
The $80 million budgeted for the National Cathedral’s construction has been put on hold by the Trades and Industry Committee of Parliament, according to a new report by Ghanaweb.
The allocation was the first time money had been specifically set aside for the project; prior payments had been made from the contingency fund.
The Ministry of Tourism (MoT) was given a 2023 allocation, however, the Committee stated that in order for the budgeted amount to be accepted, both the new allocation and the prior expenditures must be explained.
Ibrahim Murtala Mohammed, a member of parliament representing Tamale Central, revealed the news to JoyNews, a publication based in Accra, on December 13. He added that the suspension would last until reason for the allocation was provided.
“What the Committee decided was that we cannot just approve this GH¢80 million, we must know how the other GH¢339 million was spent. What did it constitute?
“The GH¢80 million you want us to approve, how did it find space in the budget line of the Ministry of Tourism when the Minister and the directors could not speak to the questions we were asking? What constitutes the GH¢80 million, they should give us a breakdown,” he stressed.
The minority in Parliament is asking for disclosures on how much the state is spending on both the cathedral project and Akufo-fancy Addo’s jet flights, which have both been hot topics in recent months.
While attempts to obtain formal records of the cost of presidential aircraft journeys through Parliament have often failed, the National Cathedral problem has recently received firm responses, especially from the Minister of Finance.
Ken Ofori-Atta disclosed while appearing before an ad hoc committee of Parliament that monies paid in lieu of the project were drawn from the Contingency Fund.
For the first time, government also included an expenditure item relating to the project in the 2023 budget with an amount of GH¢80 million cedis earmarked for disbursement.